Aldrin and dieldrin: a reevaluation of the cancer and noncancer dose-response assessments

Risk Anal. 2014 May;34(5):865-78. doi: 10.1111/risa.12145.


The dose-response analyses of cancer and noncancer health effects of aldrin and dieldrin were evaluated using current methodology, including benchmark dose analysis and the current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) guidance on body weight scaling and uncertainty factors. A literature review was performed to determine the most appropriate adverse effect endpoints. Using current methodology and information, the estimated reference dose values were 0.0001 and 0.00008 mg/kg-day for aldrin and dieldrin, respectively. The estimated cancer slope factors for aldrin and dieldrin were 3.4 and 7.0 (mg/kg-day)(-1), respectively (i.e., about 5- and 2.3-fold lower risk than the 1987 U.S. EPA assessments). Because aldrin and dieldrin are no longer used as pesticides in the United States, they are presumed to be a low priority for additional review by the U.S. EPA. However, because they are persistent and still detected in environmental samples, quantitative risk assessments based on the best available methods are required. Recent epidemiologic studies do not demonstrate a causal association between aldrin and dieldrin and human cancer risk. The proposed reevaluations suggest that these two compounds pose a lower human health risk than currently reported by the U.S. EPA.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aldrin / adverse effects*
  • Dieldrin / adverse effects*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Humans
  • Insecticides / adverse effects*
  • Neoplasms / chemically induced*


  • Insecticides
  • Dieldrin
  • Aldrin