skip to Main Content

Bibliography Tag: atrazine

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

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

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

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

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

Ryberg and Gilliom, 2015

Karen R. Ryberg and Robert J. Gilliom, “Trends in pesticide concentrations and use for major rivers of the United States,”  Science of the Total Environment, 2015, 538: 431-444, DOI: /10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.06.095.


Trends in pesticide concentrations in 38 major rivers of the United States were evaluated in relation to use trends for 11 commonly occurring pesticide compounds. Pesticides monitored in water were analyzed for trends in concentration in three overlapping periods, 1992–2001, 1997–2006, and 2001–2010 to facilitate comparisons among sites with variable sample distributions over time and among pesticides with changes in use during different periods and durations. Concentration trends were analyzed using the SEAWAVE-Q model, which incorporates intra-annual variability in concentration and measures of long-term, mid-term, and short-term
streamflow variability. Trends in agricultural use within each of the river basins were determined using interval-censored regression with high and low estimates of use.
Pesticides strongly dominated by agricultural use (cyanazine, alachlor, atrazine and its degradate deethylatrazine, metolachlor, and carbofuran) had widespread agreement between concentration trends and use trends. Pesticides with substantial use in both agricultural and nonagricultural applications (simazine, chlorpyrifos, malathion, diazinon, and carbaryl) had concentration trends that were mostly explained by a combination of agricultural-use trends, regulatory changes, and urban use changes inferred from concentration trends in urban streams. When there were differences, concentration trends usually were greater than use trends (increased more or decreased less). These differences may occur because of such factors as unaccounted pesticide uses, delayed transport to the river through groundwater, greater uncertainty in the use data, or unquantified land use and management practice changes.  FULL TEXT

Mahler et. al, 2017

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.

Chevrier et al., 2011

Cecile Chevrier, Gwendolina Limon, Christine Monfort, Florence Rouget, Ronan Garlantezec, et al., “Urinary biomarkers of prenatal atrazine exposure and adverse birth outcomes in the PELAGIE birth cohort,” Environmental Health Perspectives, 2011, 119:7, DOI: 10.1289/EHP.100277.


BACKGROUND:  Despite evidence of atrazine toxicity in developing organisms from experimental studies, few studies—and fewer epidemiologic investigations—have examined the potential effects of prenatal exposure.

OBJECTIVES: We assessed the association between adverse birth outcomes and urinary biomarkers of prenatal atrazine exposure, while taking into account exposures to other herbicides used on corn crops (simazine, alachlor, metolachlor, and acetochlor).

METHODS: This study used a case-cohort design nested in a prospective birth cohort conducted in the Brittany region of France from 2002 through 2006. We collected maternal urine samples to examine pesticide exposure biomarkers before the 19th week of gestation.

RESULTS: We found quantifiable levels of atrazine or atrazine mercapturate in urine samples from 5.5% of 579 pregnant women, and dealkylated and identified hydroxylated triazine metabolites in 20% and 40% of samples, respectively. The presence versus absence of quantifiable levels of atrazine or a specific atrazine metabolite was associated with fetal growth restriction [odds ratio (OR) = 1.5; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.0–2.2] and small head circumference for sex and gestational age (OR = 1.7; 95% CI, 1.0–2.7). Associations with major congenital anomalies were not evident with atrazine or its specific metabolites. Head circumference was inversely associated with the presence of quantifiable urinary metolachlor.

CONCLUSIONS: This study is the first to assess associations of birth outcomes with multiple urinary biomarkers of exposure to triazine and chloroacetanilide herbicides. Evidence of associations with adverse birth outcomes raises particular concerns for countries where atrazine is still in use.  FULL TEXT

Swan et al., 2003

Swan SH, Kruse RL, Liu F, Barr DB, Drobnis EZ, Redmon JB, Wang C, Brazil C, Overstreet JW, “Semen quality in relation to biomarkers of pesticide exposure,” Environmental Health Perspectives, 2003, 111:12.

ABSTRACT: We previously reported reduced sperm concentration and motility in fertile men in a U.S. agrarian area (Columbia, MO) relative to men from U.S. urban centers (Minneapolis, MN; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY). In the present study we address the hypothesis that pesticides currently used in agriculture in the Midwest contributed to these differences in semen quality. We selected men in whom all semen parameters (concentration, percentage sperm with normal morphology, and percentage motile sperm) were low (cases) and men in whom all semen parameters were within normal limits (controls) within Missouri and Minnesota (sample sizes of 50 and 36, respectively) and measured metabolites of eight current-use pesticides in urine samples provided at the time of semen collection. All pesticide analyses were conducted blind with respect to center and case-control status. Pesticide metabolite levels were elevated in Missouri cases, compared with controls, for the herbicides alachlor and atrazine and for the insecticide diazinon [2-isopropoxy-4-methyl-pyrimidinol (IMPY)]; for Wilcoxon rank test, p = 0.0007, 0.012, and 0.0004 for alachlor, atrazine, and IMPY, respectively. Men from Missouri with high levels of alachlor or IMPY were significantly more likely to be cases than were men with low levels [odds ratios (ORs) = 30.0 and 16.7 for alachlor and IMPY, respectively], as were men with atrazine levels higher than the limit of detection (OR = 11.3). The herbicides 2,4-D (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid) and metolachlor were also associated with poor semen quality in some analyses, whereas acetochlor levels were lower in cases than in controls (p = 0.04). No significant associations were seen for any pesticides within Minnesota, where levels of agricultural pesticides were low, or for the insect repellent DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) or the malathion metabolite malathion dicarboxylic acid. These associations between current-use pesticides and reduced semen quality suggest that agricultural chemicals may have contributed to the reduction in semen quality in fertile men from mid-Missouri we reported previously.  FULL TEXT

Back To Top