Impact of air pollution on renal outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis protocol
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    Exposure to organic solvents is a common cause of renal failure
    • Uffe Ravnskov, Independent researcher Not affiliated to any institution

    In their meta-analysis of the impact of air pollution on renal outcomes,1 the authors should include exposure to organic solvents. Almost fifty years ago Zimmerman et al. published a case–control study of patients with terminal renal failure and just as many controls without renal disease and found that almost all patients with glomerulonephritis (GN) had been exposed to toxic substances, mainly hydrocarbons, but only a few of the controls.2 Since then, at least a dozen similar studies have confirmed their findings.3 There is also much evidence that renal function improves if the exposure is discontinued.4-6 Furthermore, 29 experiments on rats, mice and guinea pigs have shown that many types of hydrocarbons are able to produce almost all types of GN with renal failure.7 Yaqoob et al. have even shown that exposure to organic solvents may be the cause of diabetic nephropathy.8

    In spite of these findings, there has been little attention to this issue. One of the reasons may be a nationwide, population-based case–control study published seventeen years ago. It included almost 1000 patients with renal failure and just as many healthy control subjects. In that study, no difference was found as regards degree of renal failure between those who had been exposed to organic solvents and those who had not. The study had several biases, however. Many people are unaware about such exposure and should therefore be interviewed by an occupational hygienist, but such interviews were...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.