Clinical Nephrotoxins

pp 545-558

Hydrocarbons, silicon-containing compounds and pesticides

  • Patrick C. D’haeseAffiliated withUniversity of Antwerp
  • , Monique M. ElseviersAffiliated withUniversity of Antwerp
  • , Muhammed YaqoobAffiliated withThe Royal London Hospital
  • , Marc E. De BroeAffiliated withUniversity of Antwerp

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Environmental/industrial exposure to heavy metals, light hydrocarbons, pesticides and silicon-containing compounds all have been associated with the development and/or progression of renal failure. Occupational exposure to heavy metals, more particularly lead, cadmium and mercury has been linked with the development of acute or chronic renal failure. Indeed, the current literature contains a growing body of information linking solvent exposure with renal injury. To what extent exposure to environmental/occupational contaminants such as pesticides play either a causal or contributive role in the development of chronic renal failure is less clear. Recently reported observations suggest either a primary or secondary role of silicon-containing compounds in the development of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-positive rapid progressive glomerulonephritis and Wegener’s granulomatosis. Such observations deserve further confirmation as do recent studies suggesting a particular sensitivity of the diabetic kidney for the damaging effects of certain occupational exposures.