The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged the Sri Lankan government to formulate a regulatory framework to control the quality of imported fertilizers and pesticides and test them for nephro-toxic agents such as arsenic and cadmium as they are known to cause kidney diseases. Research has shown that water in the North–Central and the Uva Provinces is contaminated with arsenic and cadmium. Around 20,000 people have been affected by the Chronic Kidney Disease of Uncertain Aetiology (CKDu) in the two Provinces. Of urine samples obtained from CKDu victims, 56 per cent had cadmium excretion, indicating early kidney damage. Around 63 per cent of CKDu patients had urine arsenic levels above 21 ug/g. Urine arsenic levels above 21 ug/g can cause changes in kidney tissue, which may lead to Chronic Kidney Disease. Toxic factors identified so far included nephrotoxic agrochemicals, arsenic and cadmium. A study on the socio-economic impact of CKDu has revealed that many patients, interviewed in the advanced stages, are too ill to continue in gainful employment. Analysis of 32 samples of agrochemicals had shown that 10 per cent of the samples were contaminated with arsenic and 20 per cent were contaminated with lead. Studies done so far on drinking water samples from Anuradhpura, Polonnaruwa and Badulla had shown that cadmium and lead were within normal limits. Arsenic and cadmium had been analyzed in 118 water samples and 99 of those samples had been taken from drinking water sources believed to cause CKDu. In three of those samples, arsenic levels were above WHO standards.  ]]>

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