Year of Publication

2016

College

Public Health

Degree Name

Dr. of Public Health (Dr.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Steven Browning, PhD, MSPH

Committee Member

Erin Abner, PhD, MPH

Committee Member

Wayne T. Sanderson, PhD

Abstract

Atrazine, one of the most widely used agricultural pesticides, largely sprayed on corn. throughout the Midwest.34 The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated 76.4 million pounds are applied annually where its usage on corn accounts for approximately 86% of total United States (US) domestic usage (in pounds).35 Approximately 75% of the field corn acreage grown in the U.S. is treated with atrazine.35 Once atrazine enters into waterways, it can persist having a half-life greater than 200 days in surface waters.34 In Kentucky, atrazine is the most heavily applied in heavy corn-producing locations, which are mostly in western regions of the state.8 Although some research has suggested a possible link between atrazine exposure and cancers, including breast, thyroid, and ovarian cancers, few studies have focused on the association of atrazine exposure and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). 17,21,38 Even fewer of these studies have assessed atrazine exposure using water sampling data. The purpose of this study was to conduct a descriptive exposure analysis and to evaluate the association between atrazine exposure metrics and NHL in Kentucky. Among the four metrics used to assess atrazine exposure, acres of corn planted, mean concentration level, number of samples above the maximum contaminant level, and percent above the Limit of Detection (LOD), the study found no evidence to support an association between atrazine and NHL. Study findings support the majority of previous research, therefore, strengthening the notion of no association between NHL and atrazine.

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