AAPCO, 2005

Association of American Pesticide Control Operators,” 2005 Pesticide Drift Enforcement Survey,”  2005.


Reports on the results from 2002 and 2003 farmer surveys, including on pesticide drift damage.  FULL TEXT

Agopian et al., 2013

A.J. Agopian, PhD, Yi Cai, MS, Peter H. Langlois, PhD, Mark A. Canfield, PhD, and Philip J. Lupo, PhD, “Maternal Residential Atrazine Exposure and Risk for Choanal Atresia and Stenosis in Offspring,” Journal of Pediatrics 2013, 162:3, DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2012.08.012


OBJECTIVE: To assess the relationship between estimated residential maternal exposure to atrazine during pregnancy and the risk for choanal atresia or stenosis in offspring.

STUDY DESIGN: Data for 280 nonsyndromic cases and randomly selected, population-based controls delivered between 1999 and 2008 were obtained from the Texas Birth Defects Registry. County-level estimates of atrazine levels obtained from the US Geological Survey were assigned to cases and controls based on maternal county of residence at delivery. Unconditional logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between maternal residential atrazine exposure and the risk for choanal atresia or stenosis in offspring.

RESULTS: Compared with offspring of mothers with low levels of estimated residential atrazine exposure, those with high levels had nearly a 2-fold increase in risk for choanal atresia or stenosis (aOR, 1.79; 95% CI, 1.17-2.74). A significant linear trend was also observed with increasing levels of atrazine exposure (adjusted P = .002).

CONCLUSION: A link between maternal exposure to endocrine disruptors, such as atrazine, and the risk of choanal atresia is plausible based on previous findings. Our results lend further support to this hypothesis.  FULL TEXT

Curwin et al., 2007

Brian Curwin, Misty Hein, Wayne Sanderson, Cynthia Striley, Dick Heederik, Hans Kromhout, Stephen Reynolds, Michael Alavanja, “Urinary Pesticide Concentrations Among Children, Mothers and Fathers Living in Farm and Non-Farm Households in Iowa,” The Annals of Occupational Hygiene, 51:1, January 2007, DOI: 10.1093/annhyg/mel062


In the spring and summer of 2001, 47 fathers, 48 mothers and 117 children of Iowa farm and non-farm households were recruited to participate in a study investigating take-home pesticide exposure. On two occasions ∼1 month apart, urine samples from each participant and dust samples from various rooms were collected from each household and were analyzed for atrazine, metolachlor, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos or their metabolites. The adjusted geometric mean (GM) level of the urine metabolite of atrazine was significantly higher in fathers, mothers and children from farm households compared with those from non-farm households (P ≤ 0.0001). Urine metabolites of chlorpyrifos were significantly higher in farm fathers (P = 0.02) and marginally higher in farm mothers (P = 0.05) when compared with non-farm fathers and mothers, but metolachlor and glyphosate levels were similar between the two groups. GM levels of the urinary metabolites for chlorpyrifos, metolachlor and glyphosate were not significantly different between farm children and non-farm children. Farm children had significantly higher urinary atrazine and chlorpyrifos levels (P = 0.03 and P = 0.03 respectively) when these pesticides were applied by their fathers prior to sample collection than those of farm children where these pesticides were not recently applied. Urinary metabolite concentration was positively associated with pesticide dust concentration in the homes for all pesticides except atrazine in farm mothers; however, the associations were generally not significant. There were generally good correlations for urinary metabolite levels among members of the same family. FULL TEXT

De Roos et al., 2003

A J De Roos, S Zahm, K Cantor, D Weisenburger, F Holmes, L Burmeister, and A Blair, “Integrative assessment of multiple pesticides as risk factors for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma among men,” Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2003, 60:9, DOI: 10.1136/oem.60.9.e1


METHODS: During the 1980s, the National Cancer Institute conducted three case-control studies of NHL in the midwestern United States. These pooled data were used to examine pesticide exposures in farming as risk factors for NHL in men. The large sample size (n = 3417) allowed analysis of 47 pesticides simultaneously, controlling for potential confounding by other pesticides in the model, and adjusting the estimates based on a prespecified variance to make them more stable.

RESULTS: Reported use of several individual pesticides was associated with increased NHL incidence, including organophosphate insecticides coumaphos, diazinon, and fonofos, insecticides chlordane, dieldrin, and copper acetoarsenite, and herbicides atrazine, glyphosate, and sodium chlorate. A subanalysis of these “potentially carcinogenic” pesticides suggested a positive trend of risk with exposure to increasing numbers.

CONCLUSION: Consideration of multiple exposures is important in accurately estimating specific effects and in evaluating realistic exposure scenarios.  FULL TEXT

Lebov et al., 2015

Jill F. Lebov, MSPH, PhD, Lawrence S. Engel, PhD, David Richardson, PhD, Susan L. Hogan, PhD, Jane A. Hoppin, ScD, and Dale P. Sandler, PhD, “Pesticide use and risk of end-stage renal disease among licensed pesticide applicators in the Agricultural Health Study,” Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2016, 7, DOI: 10.1136/oemed-2014-102615


OBJECTIVES: Experimental studies suggest a relationship between pesticide exposure and renal impairment, but epidemiological evidence is limited. We evaluated the association between exposure to 41 specific pesticides and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) incidence in the Agricultural Health Study (AHS), a prospective cohort study of licensed pesticide applicators in Iowa and North Carolina.

METHODS: Via linkage to the United States Renal Data System, we identified 320 ESRD cases diagnosed between enrollment (1993-1997) and December 2011 among 55,580 male licensed pesticide applicators. Participants provided pesticide use information via self-administered questionnaires. Lifetime pesticide use was defined as the product of duration and frequency of use and then modified by an intensity factor to account for differences in pesticide application practices. Cox proportional hazards models, adjusted for age and state, were used to estimate associations between ESRD and: 1) ordinal categories of intensity-weighted lifetime use of 41 pesticides, 2) poisoning and high-level pesticide exposures, and 3) pesticide exposure resulting in a medical visit or hospitalization.

RESULTS: Positive exposure-response trends were observed for the herbicides alachlor, atrazine, metolachlor, paraquat, and pendimethalin, and the insecticide chlordane. More than one medical visit due to pesticide use (HR = 2.13; 95% CI: 1.17, 3.89) and hospitalization due to pesticide use (HR = 3.05; 95% CI: 1.67, 5.58) were significantly associated with ESRD.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support an association between ESRD and chronic exposure to specific pesticides and suggest pesticide exposures resulting in medical visits may increase the risk of ESRD. FULL TEXT

Lerro et al., 2017

Catherine C. Lerro, Laura E. Beane Freeman, Lützen Portengen, Daehee Kang, Kyoungho Lee, Aaron Blair, Charles F. Lynch, Berit Bakke, Anneclaire J. De Roos, and Roel C.H. Vermeulen, “A longitudinal study of atrazine and 2,4-D exposure and oxidative stress markers among Iowa corn farmers,” Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis, 2017, 58, DOI: 10.1002/em.22069


Reactive oxygen species, potentially formed through environmental exposures, can overwhelm an organism’s antioxidant capabilities resulting in oxidative stress. Long-term oxidative stress is linked with chronic diseases. Pesticide exposures have been shown to cause oxidative stress in vivo. We utilized a longitudinal study of corn farmers and non-farming controls in Iowa to examine the impact of exposure to the widely used herbicides atrazine and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) on markers of oxidative stress. 225 urine samples were collected during five agricultural time periods (pre-planting, planting, growing, harvest, off-season) for 30 farmers who applied pesticides occupationally and 10 controls who did not; all were non-smoking men ages 40–60. Atrazine mercapturate (atrazine metabolite), 2,4-D, and oxidative stress markers (malondialdehyde [MDA], 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine [8-OHdG], and 8-isoprostaglandin-F [8-isoPGF]) were measured in urine. We calculated β estimates and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) for each pesticide-oxidative stress marker combination using multivariate linear mixed-effect models for repeated measures. Farmers had higher urinary atrazine mercapturate and 2,4-D levels compared to controls. In regression models, after natural log transformation, 2,4-D was associated with elevated levels of 8-OHdG (β=0.066, 95%CI=0.008–0.124) and 8-isoPGF (β=0.088, 95%CI=0.004–0.172). 2,4-D may be associated with oxidative stress because of modest increases in 8-OHdG, a marker of oxidative DNA damage, and 8-isoPGF, a product of lipoprotein peroxidation, with recent 2,4-D exposure. Future studies should investigate the role of 2,4-D-induced oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of human diseases.  FULL TEXT

Lim et al., 2009

Soo Lim, Sun Young Ahn, In Chan Song, Myung Hee Chung, Hak Chul Jang, Kyong Soo Park, Ki-Up Lee, Youngmi Kim Pak , Hong Kyu Lee, “Chronic Exposure to the Herbicide, Atrazine, Causes Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Insulin Resistance,” PLOS One, 2009, 4:4, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0005186


There is an apparent overlap between areas in the USA where the herbicide, atrazine (ATZ), is heavily used and obesity-prevalence maps of people with a BMI over 30. Given that herbicides act on photosystem II of the thylakoid membrane of chloroplasts, which have a functional structure similar to mitochondria, we investigated whether chronic exposure to low concentrations of ATZ might cause obesity or insulin resistance by damaging mitochondrial function. Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 48) were treated for 5 months with low concentrations (30 or 300 µg kg−1 day−1) of ATZ provided in drinking water. One group of animals was fed a regular diet for the entire period, and another group of animals was fed a high-fat diet (40% fat) for 2 months after 3 months of regular diet. Various parameters of insulin resistance were measured. Morphology and functional activities of mitochondria were evaluated in tissues of ATZ-exposed animals and in isolated mitochondria. Chronic administration of ATZ decreased basal metabolic rate, and increased body weight, intra-abdominal fat and insulin resistance without changing food intake or physical activity level. A high-fat diet further exacerbated insulin resistance and obesity. Mitochondria in skeletal muscle and liver of ATZ-treated rats were swollen with disrupted cristae. ATZ blocked the activities of oxidative phosphorylation complexes I and III, resulting in decreased oxygen consumption. It also suppressed the insulin-mediated phosphorylation of Akt. These results suggest that long-term exposure to the herbicide ATZ might contribute to the development of insulin resistance and obesity, particularly where a high-fat diet is prevalent. FULL TEXT

Mahler et. al, 2016

Mahler BJ, Van Metre PC, Burley TE, Loftin KA, Meyer MT, Nowell LH, “Similarities and differences in occurrence and temporal fluctuations in glyphosate and atrazine in small Midwestern streams (USA) during the 2013 growing season,” Science of the Total Environment, 2017 ,579:149-158. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.10.236.


Glyphosate and atrazine are the most intensively used herbicides in the United States. Although there is abundant spatial and temporal information on atrazine occurrence at regional scales, there are far fewer data for glyphosate, and studies that compare the two herbicides are rare. We investigated temporal patterns in glyphosate and atrazine concentrations measured weekly during the 2013 growing season in 100 small streams in the Midwestern United States. Glyphosate was detected in 44% of samples (method reporting level 0.2μg/L); atrazine was detected above a threshold of 0.2μg/L in 54% of samples. Glyphosate was detected more frequently in 12 urban streams than in 88 agricultural streams, and at concentrations similar to those in streams with high agricultural land use (>40% row crop) in the watershed. In contrast, atrazine was detected more frequently and at higher concentrations in agricultural streams than in urban streams. The maximum concentration of glyphosate measured at most urban sites exceeded the maximum atrazine concentration, whereas at agricultural sites the reverse was true. Measurement at a 2-day interval at 8 sites in northern Missouri revealed that transport of both herbicide compounds appeared to be controlled by spring flush, that peak concentration duration was brief, but that peaks in atrazine concentrations were of longer duration than those of glyphosate. The 2-day sampling also indicated that weekly sampling is unlikely to capture peak concentrations of glyphosate and atrazine.

Mattix et al., 2007

Mattix KD, Winchester PD, Scherer LR, “Incidence of abdominal wall defects is related to surface water atrazine and nitrate levels,” Journal of Pediatric Surgery, 2007, 42:6, DOI: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2007.01.027


BACKGROUND: Gastroschisis and omphalocele are congenital abdominal wall defects (AWD). Atrazine and nitrates are common agricultural fertilizers.

METHODS: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention natality data set was used to collect data for patients with AWD born between January 1990 and December 2002. Similar data were obtained from the Indiana State Department of Health. An estimated date of conception was calculated by birth date and gestational age. Surface water nitrate and atrazine levels for Indiana were collected from US Geological Survey data. Midwest was defined as Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, and Nebraska. Statistical analysis was performed by chi2 test and Pearson correlation for P < or = .05.

RESULTS: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified 9871 children with AWD in 1990 and in 1995-2001 of 35,876,519 live births (rate 2.75/10(5)). In Indiana, 358 children from 1990-2001 had AWD of 1,013,286 live births (rate 3.53/10(5)). The AWD rate in Indiana was significantly higher than the national rate in 1996 (P = .0377), 1998 (P = .0005), and 2001 (P = .0365) and significantly higher than the Midwest rate in 1998 (P = .0104). Monthly comparison demonstrated a positive correlation of AWD rate and mean atrazine levels (P = .0125).

CONCLUSION: Indiana has significantly higher rates of AWD compared with national rates. Increased atrazine levels correlate with increased incidence of AWD.


McBirney et al., 2017

Margaux McBirney, Stephanie E. King, Michelle Pappalardo, Elizabeth Houser, Margaret Unkefer, Eric Nilsson, Ingrid Sadler-Riggleman, Daniel Beck, Paul Winchester, Michael K. Skinner, “Atrazine induced epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease, lean phenotype and sperm epimutation  pathology biomarkers,” PLOS One, 2017, 12:9, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0184306


Ancestral environmental exposures to a variety of environmental toxicants and other factors have been shown to promote the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of adult onset disease. The current study examined the potential transgenerational actions of the herbicide atrazine. Atrazine is one of the most commonly used herbicides in the agricultural industry, in particular with corn and soy crops. Outbred gestating female rats were transiently exposed to a vehicle control or atrazine. The F1 generation offspring were bred to generate the F2 generation and then the F2 generation bred to generate the F3 generation. The F1, F2 and F3 generation control and atrazine lineage rats were aged and various pathologies investigated. The male sperm were collected to investigate DNA methylation differences between the control and atrazine lineage sperm. The F1 generation offspring (directly exposed as a fetus) did not develop disease, but weighed less compared to controls. The F2 generation (grand-offspring) was found to have increased frequency of testis disease and mammary tumors in males and females, early onset puberty in males, and decreased body weight in females compared to controls. The transgenerational F3 generation rats were found to have increased frequency of testis disease, early onset puberty in females, behavioral alterations (motor hyperactivity) and a lean phenotype in males and females. The frequency of multiple diseases was significantly higher in the transgenerational F3 generation atrazine lineage males and females. The transgenerational transmission of disease requires germline (egg or sperm) epigenetic alterations. The sperm differential DNA methylation regions (DMRs), termed epimutations, induced by atrazine were identified in the F1, F2 and F3 generations. Gene associations with the DMRs were identified. For the transgenerational F3 generation sperm, unique sets of DMRs (epimutations) were found to be associated with the lean phenotype or testis disease. These DMRs provide potential biomarkers for transgenerational disease. The etiology of disease appears to be in part due to environmentally induced epigenetic transgenerational inheritance, and epigenetic biomarkers may facilitate the diagnosis of the ancestral exposure and disease susceptibility. Observations indicate that although atrazine does not promote disease in the directly exposed F1 generation, it does have the capacity to promote the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease.  FULL TEXT