Researchers from Mt. Sinai Hospital have linked kidney damage in 9/11 first responders to inhalation of high levels of particulate matter, including cement dust, smoke, glass fibers and heavy metals at Ground Zero. Exposure to these toxins has already been linked to lung and heart issues in this patient group, and first responders and their families have long suspected a 9/11 kidney disease connection. The scientists found that patients with a higher length of exposure to particulate matter had higher levels of the protein albumin in their urine. Principal investigator Mary Ann McLaughlin explained, “”We believe high exposure to the massive dust cloud of air pollution at Ground Zero may have extremely inflamed the endothelial lining of blood vessels leading to the kidneys causing kidney malfunction and the development of kidney damage in first responders.” This discovery should lead to earlier diagnosis and intervention and better care for first responders with signs of kidney damage.
Kidney Damage in First Responders Linked to September 11, Mount Sinai Hospital, November 9, 2013