Certain highly pervasive environmental pollutants may have a harmful effect on your kidney health, a study warns.
Certain highly pervasive environmental pollutants may have a harmful effect on your kidney health, a study warns. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large group of non-biodegradable compounds used in industrial processes and consumer products, and they are everywhere in the environment, said researchers from Duke University in the US.
Humans are exposed to PFAS through contaminated soil, food, water, soil, and air, they said.
The findings, which appear in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN), point to the need for additional research to clarify and address these effects. To investigate whether PFAS exposure may be affecting kidney health, researchers searched the medical literature for relevant studies. “The kidneys are very sensitive organs, particularly when it comes to environmental toxins that can get in our bloodstream,” said John Stanifer from Duke University.
“Because so many people are now exposed to these PFAS chemicals, and to the newer, increasingly-produced alternative PFAS agents such as GenX, it is critical to understand if and how these chemicals may be contributing to kidney disease,” he said.
In the 74 studies identified, there were many adverse outcomes linked to PFAS exposure, including worse kidney function, derangements in the proximal tubules in the kidney, and dysregulated metabolic pathways linked to kidney disease.
It was also particularly concerning that children are exposed to these chemicals to a greater extent than adults, researchers said. “By searching all the known studies published on the topic, we concluded that there are several potential ways in which these chemicals can cause kidney damage,” said Stanifer.
“We discovered that there have already been multiple reports suggesting that these chemicals are associated with worse kidney outcomes,” he said.