9/11 Responders Suffered Kidney Damage Due to Air Pollutants

The higher the exposure to particulate matter, the greater the kidney damage

First Responder – Wikimedia Image
Activist Post

Many first responders working at Ground Zero following the 9/11 tragedy were exposed to cement dust, smoke, glass fibers, and heavy metals. Exposure to high levels of such particulate matter caused significant damage to first responders’ kidneys, according to research presented at ASN Kidney Week 2013 November 9 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA.

The team previously demonstrated abnormalities in heart and lung in first responders to 9/11. In this latest study, the investigators evaluated 183 consecutively enrolled first responders from the WTC–CHEST Program, a subset of the World Trade Center Clinical Center of Excellence. Participants provided information about particulate matter exposure, and exposure score was calculated based on proximity to Ground Zero, time of arrival, and duration of exposure.

Kidney tests demonstrated a linear trend between level of exposure to particulate matter and measures of poor kidney function. Participants with the highest exposure to particulate matter had significantly worse kidney function than those with low exposure.

“We observed a statistically significant independent relationship of high exposure to particulate matter with albuminuria in this cohort after controlling for pertinent risk factors,” reported lead author Mary Ann McLaughlin, MD (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai). “This novel finding paves the way for future studies of environmental exposures and inflammation in the pathogenesis of albuminuria.”

The authors report funding for this abstract was provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

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