Atrazine and cancer: a review of the epidemiologic evidence

Eur J Cancer Prev. 2013 Mar;22(2):169-80. doi: 10.1097/CEJ.0b013e32835849ca.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atrazine / administration & dosage*
  • Atrazine / toxicity
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Herbicides / administration & dosage*
  • Herbicides / toxicity
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*


  • Herbicides
  • Atrazine