Kidney damage in first responders linked to 9/11
Many first responders at Ground Zero on 9/11 have developed lung and heart abnormalities as a result of being exposed to particulate matter in the air, including dust, smoke and heavy metals. But now, researchers have also found a link between inhaled particulate matter and kidney damage in the first responders.
Researchers from the WTC-CHEST Program, a subset of the World Trade Center Health Program Clinical Center for Excellence at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, examined urine samples of more than 180 first responders exposed to particulate matter at Ground Zero.
By measuring the level of a particular protein in the urine samples, researchers were able to detect renal damage and abnormalities.
Results showed a link between high exposure to particulate matter and increased level of the protein under study. First responders with the highest exposure to the particulate matter on 9/11 had the greatest levels of the protein in their urine.
Researchers said that high exposure to the particulate matter may have caused inflammation in first responders’ blood vessels, which led to kidney malfunction and the development of kidney damage.
These findings provide important information regarding risk of exposure to particulate matter, risk factors for disease and potential improvements in treatments and diagnoses, researchers said.