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O04-6 A longitudinal study of atrazine and 2,4-d exposure and oxidative stress markers among iowa corn farmers
  1. Catherine Lerro1,
  2. Laura Beane Freeman1,
  3. Lutzen Portengen2,
  4. Dahee Kang3,
  5. Kyoungho Lee4,
  6. Aaron Blair1,
  7. Charles Lynch5,
  8. Berit Bakke6,
  9. Anneclaire de Roos7,
  10. Roel Vermeulen2,8
  1. 1Occupational and Enviornmental Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institue, Bethesda, USA
  2. 2Division of Environmental Epidemiology, Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht 3508, The Netherlands
  3. 3Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
  4. 4Samsung Health Research Institute, Samsung Electronics, Yongin-City 446-711, Korea
  5. 5Department of Epidemiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, USA
  6. 6Department of Occupational Health Surveillance, National Institute of Occupational Health, Oslo, Norway
  7. 7Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Drexel University School of Public Health, Philadelphia, USA
  8. 8Julius Centre for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands


Introduction Reactive oxygen species, potentially formed through environmental or lifestyle exposures, can overwhelm an organism’s antioxidant capabilities resulting in oxidative stress. Long-term oxidative stress is linked with chronic diseases including breast, prostate, and lung cancers. We utilised a longitudinal study of corn farmers and non-farming controls in Iowa to examine the impact of exposure to atrazine and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) on markers of oxidative stress. These pesticides are associated with oxidative stress in vivo, as well as cancer, and are among the most widely used herbicides in the United States.

Methods The study included 225 urine samples collected through the growing season (pre-planting, planting, growing season, harvest, and off-season) of 10 controls who did not apply pesticides occupationally and 30 farmers who did; all were non-smoking men ages 40 to 60 years. Atrazine mercapturate (an atrazine metabolite), 2,4-D, and oxidative stress markers (malondialdehyde [MDA], 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine [8-OHdG], and 8-„isoprostaglandin-F2α [8-isoPGF]) were measured in urine samples. We calculated β estimates and p-values for each pesticide-oxidative stress marker combination using linear mixed-effect models adjusted for creatinine, time, and other covariates in order understand the impact of exposure to these herbicides on oxidative stress.

Results Overall, farmers had higher urinary atrazine mercapturate and 2,4-D levels compared to controls. In multivariate linear mixed-effect regression models, after natural log transformation, 2,4-D was associated with elevated levels of 8-OHdG (β = 0.047, p = 0.048) and 8-isoPGF (β = 0.076, p = 0.075). We saw no associations with 2,4-D and MDA. Atrazine mercapturate was not associated with any of the oxidative stress markers.

Discussion Our data suggest 2,4-D exposure may be associated with oxidative stress because of increases of 8-OHdG, a marker of oxidative DNA damage, and 8-isoPGF, a product of lipoprotein peroxidation with exposure. Future studies should attempt to understand the role of 2,4-D-induced oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of human disease, particularly cancer.

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