Chronic kidney disease associated with environmental toxins and exposures

Adv Chronic Kidney Dis. 2010 May;17(3):254-64. doi: 10.1053/j.ackd.2010.03.011.


People are exposed to various potentially toxic agents and conditions in their natural and occupational environments. These agents may be physical or chemical, may enter the human body through oral, inhalational, or transdermal routes, and may exert effects on all organ systems. Several well-known as well as lesser known associations exist between chronic kidney disease (CKD) and both environmental agents and conditions, such as heavy metals, industrial chemicals, elevated ambient temperatures, and infections. The effects of these agents may be modulated by genetic susceptibility and other comorbid conditions and may lead to the development of acute and CKD. In this article, we present environmental factors that are associated with CKD.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aristolochic Acids / adverse effects
  • Balkan Nephropathy / etiology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / adverse effects
  • Endemic Diseases
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Environmental Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Heat Stroke / complications
  • Humans
  • Infections / complications*
  • Infections / epidemiology
  • Kidney Diseases / chemically induced
  • Kidney Diseases / epidemiology
  • Kidney Diseases / etiology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / chemically induced
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / epidemiology
  • Metals, Heavy / adverse effects
  • Nicaragua / epidemiology
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Physical Exertion
  • Recurrence
  • Sri Lanka / epidemiology


  • Aristolochic Acids
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Metals, Heavy
  • aristolochic acid I