Inhaling Polluted air may effect kidneys

kidney disease

A new study now adds kidney disease to the list, Pollution may increase the risk of chronic kidney disease. Ultimately, contribute to kidney failure.

According to the researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Veterans Affairs (VA) St. Louis Health Care System evaluate the effects of air pollution and kidney disease on nearly 2.5 million people.  Over a period of 8.5 years, beginning in 2004. The scientists compared VA data on kidney function to air-quality levels. Collected by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

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44,793 cases of kidney disease

The EPA derived its data from land-based air-monitoring stations across the U.S. Furthermore, the findings suggest that 44,793 new cases of kidney disease and 2,438 new cases of kidney failure attributed to levels of air pollution. That exceed the EPA’s threshold of 12 micrograms per cubic meter of air. The highest level of air pollution considered safe for the public, as set by the Clean Air Act of 1990 and updated in 2012.

The top most polluted cities in 2017 Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Fresno, Hanford, Phoenix, Modesto, San Diego, Sacramento, New York, Las Vegas. Study results placed Southern California and large regions in the South, Midwest and Northeast at the greatest risk for kidney decline attributed to air pollution.

Data on the relationship between air pollution and kidney disease in humans has been scarce, said Ziyad Al-Aly, MD, the study’s senior author and an assistant professor of medicine at Washington University. However, once we analyzed the data, the link between air pollution and the development of kidney disease was clear.

Pollutants in blood

Finally, the study found that even low levels of particulate matter may adversely affect the kidneys. And those adverse effects increase as pollution levels increase. Researchers also linked the VA data to space-borne sensors from NASA satellites. However, Both EPA and NASA data is that the agencies used two distinct techniques for collecting data. The findings suggests chronic exposure to air pollution is a significant risk factor for the development and progression of kidney disease.

Moreover, Fine particles can damage the kidneys. In the same way they damage other organs such as the heart and lungs. Airborne and invisible, microscopic pieces of dust, dirt, smoke, soot and liquid droplets often become destructive in bloodstream. The kidneys filter the blood, and these harmful particles can disrupt normal kidney function.

In addition, over the years unsafe levels of outdoor air pollution have decreased in the US. Still, more than half of the US population lives in areas from industrialized big cities to farming communities to coal-mining towns with unhealthy levels of outdoor air pollution, according to a 2016 study by the American Lung Association.

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In many places across the globe, including China and India, outdoor air pollution is significantly worse than in the US.