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NH Environmental Public Health Tracking Program
Kidney cancer

Kidney Cancer and the Environment

Kidney cancer is a cancer that forms in tissues of the kidneys. Some types of kidney cancer include:

Research is needed to better understand the connection between the environment and kidney cancer. However, the kidney's main function of removing waste from our blood puts it at higher risk to the effects of harmful substances in our body. This includes environmental contaminants we come into contact with during our lifetime. Studies have shown that some people exposed to trichloroethylene (TCE) or arsenic, through contaminated drinking water for example, may be at an increased risk for kidney cancer.

Exposure and Risk

People with the following risk factors may be more likely than others to develop kidney cancer:


You may be able to reduce your risk for kidney cancer by avoiding known risk factors for the disease. Cigarette smoking is responsible for a large number of cases, and stopping smoking may lower your risk. Maintaining a healthy weight by exercising and choosing a diet high in fruits and vegetables, and getting treatment for high blood pressure may also lower your chance of getting this type of cancer. Finally, avoid workplace exposure to large amounts of harmful substances such as cadmium, asbestos, and organic solvents.

For more information on kidney cancer:

Environmental Public Health Tracking Program
NH Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Services
29 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301
Tel: (603) 271-4988 800-852-3345 ext.4988

copyright 2009. State of New Hampshire