Atrazine Sound Science | Syngenta US

The Science and Safety of Atrazine: Sound Science

Atrazine is one of the most carefully studied and thoroughly tested chemicals in the world. More than 7,000 scientific studies conducted over the past 50 years have clearly established its safety for humans and the environment.

"Industry-Funded Studies"

Activists try to dismiss studies by saying they are "industry funded" and therefore should not be trusted. The truth is all companies involved in the EPA review process are required by U.S. law to fund such studies, so as not to burden the taxpayers with the cost of multimillion dollar, state-of-the art laboratory studies.

Of significant importance, is the fact that every aspect of an industry study is transparent to the public and authorized, audited, and reviewed by EPA. Attempts to discredit industry studies carried out at the behest and under the supervision of EPA would throw our regulatory process into chaos and enormously increase the burden on U.S. taxpayers and the federal deficit.

Number of studies required to besubmitted to the EPA for registration

Atrazine Resources

Human Health

  • EPA and the National Institutes of Health: Agricultural Health Study finds no association between atrazine exposure and cancer

    http://aghealth.nci.nih.gov/

    The Agricultural Health Study (AHS), a large, government-sponsored study of agricultural workers going on since 1994, found no association between atrazine exposure and any form of cancer. The latest examination of the AHS data showed no statistically significant link between the use of atrazine and the incidence of hormonally-related cancers, including breast, prostate and ovarian cancer.
  • Study in European Journal of Cancer Prevention shows atrazine poses no cancer risk in drinking water

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22914097

    A report in the March 2013 issue of European Journal of Cancer Prevention states atrazine appears to be a good candidate for a category of herbicides with a probable absence of cancer risk. The authors, Boffetta et. al, recommend that atrazine continue to be treated for regulatory and public health purposes as an agent unlikely to pose a cancer risk to humans. They reviewed reports from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the July 2011 EPA Scientific Advisory Panel to determine whether epidemiologic studies suggested a link between atrazine and specific cancers. A weight-of-evidence analysis concluded “that there is no causal association between atrazine and cancer.”
  • Report in European Journal of Cancer Prevention reaffirms atrazine is unlikely to pose cancer risk

    http://journals.lww.com/eurjcancerprev/Abstract/publishahead/
    Atrazine_and_cancer___a_review_of_the.99724.aspx


    The authors of a report released Aug. 21, 2012, evaluated the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Scientific Advisory Panel reports as well as all epidemiologic studies on the specific cancers of interest. They found no evidence of a causal link between atrazine and cancer. Further they determined “that occasional positive results can be attributed to bias or chance.” The authors recommend atrazine continue to be treated for regulatory and public health purposes as an agent unlikely to pose a cancer risk to humans.
  • Colorado State University Study shows no evidence to support link between atrazine and hypospadias

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1626392/

    A report published in the October 2006 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives affirms the safety of atrazine, finding no evidence to support a link between atrazine exposure and an increased risk of hypospadias. The authors observed 354 cases of hypospadias in children born over the course of four years in close proximity to agricultural pesticide applications. Of the 38 pesticides that were included in the study, no evidence was found to support a link between exposure and an increased risk of hypospadias for any of them except one, where further research was recommended.
  • NSW Department of Health found no link between atrazine and gastroschisis

    http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/resources/whatsnew/pdf/gastroschisis_report.pdf

    The Australian Government completed a thorough review of all the available scientific evidence and found that there is no link between atrazine and gastroschisis.
  • Simpkins, J. W., et al., Atrazine and Breast Cancer: A Framework Assessment of the Toxicological and Epidemiological Evidence. Toxicol Sci. 2011 October; 123(2): 441–459.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3179673/
  • Goldner, W.S., et al., Pesticide use and thyroid disease among women in the Agricultural Health Study. Am J Epidemiol, 2010. 171(4): p. 455-64.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2842196/

Wildlife

  • Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority found atrazine is unlikely to have adverse impact on frogs

    http://www.apvma.gov.au/news_media/chemicals/atrazine.php#amphibians

    The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) at the request of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) examined the body of research associated with the work of Professor Tyrone Hayes prior to finalization of the atrazine review. The conclusion of the APVMA at that time, based on advice from DEWHA, was that atrazine is unlikely to have an adverse impact on frogs at existing levels of exposure. This advice was consistent with findings by the US EPA in 2007 (see below) that atrazine does not adversely affect amphibian gonadal development.
  • EPA: Atrazine does not adversely affect amphibians

    http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/atrazine/atrazine_update.htm#amphibian

    EPA concluded in 2007 that atrazine does not adversely affect amphibian gonadal development based on a review of laboratory and field studies, including studies submitted by the registrant and studies published in the scientific literature. At this time, EPA believes that no additional testing is warranted to address this issue.
  • Two EPA-audited and inspected studies (Kloas, 2007) found that atrazine as used poses no threat to frogs

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19008211

    Two large-scale studies were conducted under the direction and supervision of EPA using 3,200 frogs and 100,000 tissue samples. The studies found that atrazine has no negative impact on growth, development, survival or sexual differentiation in frogs. These studies convinced the EPA that atrazine as used did not pose a threat to frogs.

Additional Resources

Regulatory and Non-Government Organization

Industry Studies

  • Ashby J, Tinwell H, Stevens J, Pastoor T, & Breckenridge CB (2002). The effects of atrazine on the sexual maturation of female rats. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol, 35: 468–473.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0273230002915710
  • Coder, P. (2011a). A Study of the Effects of Short-Term Atrazine Exposure on the Estrogen-Induced Luteinizing Hormone (LH) Surge in Ovariectomized Young-Adult Sprague-Dawley Female Rats.
  • Unpublished study from Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc. Report Number WIL-639091. MRID 48470002
  • Coder, P. (2011b). An Oral (Gavage and Dietary) Study Evaluating the Pharmacokinetics of Atrazine in Female Sprague-Dawley Rats: Final Report. Project Number: WIL-0639081, TK0033836.
  • Unpublished study prepared by WIL Research Laboratories, Inc. MRID 48373101
  • Coder, P. (2011c). An Oral (Gavage and Dietary) Study of the Effects of Atrazine on the Spontaneous Luteinizing Hormone Surge in Female Sprague-Dawley Rats.
  • Unpublished study from Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc. Report Number WIL-639080.
  • Coder, P. (2011d). An Oral (Gavage and Dietary) Study of the Effects of Atrazine on Fertility and Reproductive Performance in Female Long Evans and Sprague-Dawley Rats.
  • Unpublished study from Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc. Report Number WIL-639090. MRID 48470001
  • Coder, P. (2011e). An Oral (Gavage) Study of the Effects of Atrazine on the Estrous Cycle and the Estrogen-Induced Luteinizing Hormone Surge in Female Rats: Final Report. Project Number: WIL-639060, TK0023168.
  • Unpublished study prepared by WIL Research Laboratories, Inc. MRID 48381001