Linkage of Atrazine Exposure and birth data in Ky: Assessment of data sources and needs

  • Hopenhayn, Claudia (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


Atrazine is one of the most widely used herbicides in the U.S., with over seventy million pounds applied yearly on corn and other crops. Because of its extensive agricultural use, atrazine is one of the main pesticides detected in drinking water. Public supply companies are mandated to measure its concentration regularly. In Kentucky atrazine is used extensively, particularly in western areas of the state. Animal studies show that atrazine can increase the risk of several health effects, including reproductive outcomes. A recent epidemiologic study in France found a suggestive association between drinking water atrazine and birth outcomes, at levels much lower than many of the concentrations detected in Kentucky. This study will explore secondary data sources to assess the feasibility of conducting epidemiologic studies of reproductive outcomes in relation to atrazine exposures, derived from farming practices in different Kentucky regions. We will identify sources of existing data on agricultural atrazine use and its detection in drinking water, including data from public water supplies, ground well water sources and atrazine sales. We will utilize statewide vital statistics data on all births over a three-year period, to derive measures of prematurity, low birth weight and associated outcomes. Finally, we will explore the strengths of the data by integrating the exposure and outcome data to investigate potential associations. We will also identify gaps in the characterization of atrazine in water supplies used for human consumption, particularly in rural areas with extensive well water use and where agricultural activities suggest potential for elevated exposures.
Effective start/end date7/1/089/29/08


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