Exposure to organic solvents has been suggested to cause or exacerbate renal disease, but methodologic concerns regarding previous studies preclude firm conclusions. We examined the role of organic solvents in a population-based case-control study of early-stage chronic renal failure (CRF). All native Swedish residents aged 18 to 74 yr, living in Sweden between May 1996 and May 1998, formed the source population. Incident cases of CRF in a pre-uremic stage (n = 926) and control subjects (n = 998), randomly selected from the study base, underwent personal interviews that included a detailed occupational history. Expert rating by a certified occupational hygienist was used to assess organic solvent exposure intensity and duration. Relative risks were estimated by odds ratios (OR) in logistic regression models, with adjustment for potentially important covariates. The overall risk for CRF among subjects ever exposed to organic solvents was virtually identical to that among never-exposed (OR, 1.01; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.81 to 1.25). No dose-response relationships were observed for lifetime cumulative solvent exposure, average dose, or exposure frequency or duration. The absence of association pertained to all subgroups of CRF: glomerulonephritis (OR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.68 to 1.34), diabetic nephropathy (OR, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.74 to 1.41), renal vascular disease (OR, 1.16; 95% CI, 0.76 to 1.75), and other renal CRF (OR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.66 to 1.27). The results from a nationwide, population-based study do not support the hypothesis of an adverse effect of organic solvents on CRF development, in general. Detrimental effects from subclasses of solvents or on specific renal diseases cannot be ruled out.