TUESDAY, May 26, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Increased exposure to heavy metal lead, cadmium, or volatile organic compounds may be associated with an increased prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to a study published online May 22 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Jeonghwan Lee, from Seoul National University Boramae Medical Center in South Korea, and colleagues used data obtained from 46,748 adult participants in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1999 to 2016) to assess whether exposure to environmental chemicals is associated with CKD.

The researchers found that among 262 environmental chemicals, seven were significantly associated with an increased risk for albuminuria, reduced estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), or the composite outcome of both. These chemicals included metals and other chemicals that have not previously been associated with CKD. Albuminuria was associated with serum and urine cotinine, blood 2,5-dimethylfuran (a volatile organic compound), and blood cadmium. Reduced eGFR was associated with blood lead and cadmium. The composite outcome was associated with blood cadmium and lead and three volatile compounds (blood 2,5-dimethylfuran, blood furan, and urinary phenylglyoxylic acid).

“We need to make sure that workers have appropriate protective equipment when exposed to toxic chemicals and that we all have access to clean, safe water,” writes the author of an accompanying editorial.

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