Demonstration of subclinical early neprotoxicity induced by occupational exposure to Silica among workers in pottery industry



For many years, several studies drew attention to the possible nephrotoxic effects of silica and distinct renal dysfunction involving glomerular and renal tubules in workers exposed to silica.


To determine the early signs of subclinical nephrotoxic effects among some Egyptian workers exposed to silica in the pottery industry.


This study was carried out in El-Fawakhir handicraft pottery area, in Greater Cairo, Egypt. The studied population included 29 non-smoking male workers occupationally exposed to silica in addition to 35 non-smoking administrative male subjects who represented the comparison group in the study. Measured urinary parameters were concentrations of total protein (TP), microalbumin (Malb), activities of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), ?-glutamyl transferase (?-GT), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1), and silicon (Si).


Silica-exposed workers showed signi?cantly (p<0.05) increased levels of urinary TP, Malb, ALP, ?-GT, LDH, and KIM-1 compared with the comparison group. Among the silicaexposed group, increased urinary Si levels were positively and signi?cantly correlated (Spearman's ?>0.60, p<0.001 for all variables) with the elevated urinary proteins (including KIM-1) and enzymes levels. All measured urinary parameters were positively and signi?cantly correlated (?>0.75, p<0.001 for all variables) with the duration of work among exposed subjects. No significant correlation was observed between the measured variables and the age of workers.


There is associated subclinical glomerular and tubular affection among silicaexposed workers, which is related to the duration and intensity of exposure.

Authors: Mourad BH, Ashour YA
; Full Source: The international journal of occupational and environmental medicine. 2020 Apr;11(2):85-94. doi: 10.34172/ijoem.2020.1886.