This study was conducted to examine, at the county level, the relationship between pediatric cancer incidence rate and atrazine and nitrate mean concentrations in surface and groundwater. A negative binomial regression analysis was performed to investigate the association between central nervous system (CNS) tumors, leukemia, lymphoma, and atrazine and nitrate mean concentrations in groundwater. The age-adjusted brain and other CNS cancer incidence was higher than the national average in 63% of the Nebraska counties. After controlling for the counties socio-economic status and nitrate concentrations in groundwater, counties with groundwater atrazine concentrations above 0.0002 µg/L had a higher incidence rate for pediatric cancers (brain and other CNS, leukemia, and lymphoma) compared to counties with groundwater atrazine concentrations in the reference group (0.0000-0.0002 µg/L). Additionally, compared to counties with groundwater nitrate concentrations between 0 and 2 mg/L (reference group), counties with groundwater nitrate concentrations between 2.1 and 5 mg/L (group 2) had a higher incidence rate for pediatric brain and other CNS cancers (IRR = 8.39; 95% CI: 8.24-8.54), leukemia (IRR = 7.35; 95% CI: 7.22-7.48), and lymphoma (IRR = 5.59; CI: 5.48-5.69) after adjusting for atrazine groundwater concentration and the county socio-economic status. While these findings do not indicate a causal relationship, because other contaminants or cancer risk factors have not been accounted for, they suggest that atrazine and nitrate may pose a risk relative to the genesis of pediatric brain and CNS cancers, leukemia, and lymphoma.
Ouattara BS, Puvvula J, Abadi A, Munde S, Kolok AS, Bartelt-Hunt S, Bell JE, Wichman CS, Rogan E. (2022). Geospatial Distribution of Age-Adjusted Incidence of the Three Major Types of Pediatric Cancers and Waterborne Agrichemicals in Nebraska. GeoHealth, 6(2)