Polluted kidneys

Published: Monday 15 August 1994

A STUDY carried out by a team of researchers in Belgium has found a significant relationship between renal disorders and cadmium pollution (The Lancet, Vol 343, No 8912).

The study was carried out on 703 randomly selected residents in 10 districts, 6 of which are close to zinc smelters that have been responsible for cadmium pollution of the soil. The study revealed that 12.7 per cent of the residents of the 6 districts close to the zinc smelters were affected by renal disorders. In the other districts, which were at least 10 km from the smelters, the incidence was 8.3 per cent. Also, the study showed that for each km that people lived closer to a zinc smelter, urinary cadmium increased by 2.7 per cent. Researchers say the cadmium was ingested by the people through vegetables grown in the region.

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