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Atrazine and cancer: a review of the epidemiologic evidence

Boffetta, Paoloa,d; Adami, Hans-Olovb,e; Berry, Colinf; Mandel, Jack S.c

European Journal of Cancer Prevention: March 2013 - Volume 22 - Issue 2 - p 169–180
doi: 10.1097/CEJ.0b013e32835849ca
Review Articles: Lifestyle

The aim of this study was to evaluate the conflicting reports from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Scientific Advisory Panel (Panel) on the carcinogenicity of atrazine in order to determine whether the results from epidemiologic studies support a causal relationship between atrazine and any specific cancer. We reviewed the Environmental Protection Agency and Panel reports in the context of all the epidemiologic studies on the specific cancers of interest. A weight-of-evidence approach leads to the conclusion that there is no causal association between atrazine and cancer and that occasional positive results can be attributed to bias or chance. Atrazine appears to be a good candidate for a category of herbicides with a probable absence of cancer risk. Atrazine should be treated for regulatory and public health purposes as an agent unlikely to pose a cancer risk to humans.

aTisch Cancer Institute and Institute for Translational Epidemiology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York

bDepartment of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts

cExponent Inc., Menlo Park, California, USA

dInternational Prevention Research Institute, Lyon, France

eDepartment of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

fDepartment of Pathology, Queen Mary, University of London, London, UK

Correspondence to Paolo Boffetta, MD, MPH, Tisch Cancer Institute and Institute for Translational Epidemiology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA Tel: +1 212 824 7073; fax: +212 996 0407; e-mail: paolo.boffetta@mssm.edu

Received June 27, 2012

Accepted July 18, 2012

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