Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Presence of Atrazine in the Biological Samples of Cattle and Its Consequence Adversity in Human Health

Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Public Health

Presence of Atrazine in the Biological Samples of Cattle and Its Consequence Adversity in Human Health

Article excerpt


Background: Cattle can be considered as an important source for herbicides through nutrition. Therefore, herbicide residue in animal products is a potential human exposure to herbicides causing public health problems in human life. Triazines are a group of herbicides primarily used to control broadleaf weeds in corn and other feed ingredients and are considered as possible human carcinogens. To evaluate trace residue of these pollutants molecular imprinted solid phase extraction (MISPE) method has been developed, using biological samples.

Methods: Blood samples were taken from the jugular vein of 45 Holstein cows in 3 commercial dairy farms in Khuzestan Province, Iran. Urine samples were also taken from the cows.

Results: The mean ± SD concentrations of atrazine in serum and urine samples of the study group (0.739 ± 0.567 ppm and 1.389 ± 0.633 ppm, respectively) were higher (P < 0.05) than the concentrations in serum and urine samples of the control group (0.002 ± 0.005 ppm and 0.012 ± 0.026 ppm, respectively).

Conclusion: Atrazine in the feed ingredients ingested by cattle could be transferred into the biological samples and consequently can be considered as a potential hazard for the public health.

Keywords: Atrazine, Molecular imprinted polymers, High performance liquid chromatography, Cattle


"Food and Agriculture organization (FAO) has defined the term of pesticide as: any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying or 3controlling any pest, including vectors of human or animal disease, unwanted species of plants or animals causing harm during or otherwise interfering with the production, processing, storage, transport or marketing of food, agricultural commodities, wood and wood products or animal feedstuffs, or substances which may be administered to animals for the control of insects, arachnids or other pests in or on their bodies. The term includes substances intended for use as a plant growth regulator, defoliant, desiccant or agent for thinning fruit or preventing the premature fall of fruit. Also used as substances applied to crops either before or after harvest to protect the commodity from deterioration during storage and transport" (1).

These substances can be classed as "insecticides (insect killers), fungicides (fungus killers), herbicides (weed killers), rodenticides (rodent killers), repellent (substances used to deter vermin from cultivated land) and fumigants (gaseous chemicals used for clearing plantations of microbes or insects)" (2). Although pesticides can improve quality and quantity of crops, they are reported to cause occupational diseases in farmers (2).

Triazines, a group of herbicides including atrazine, simazine, propazine, cyanazine, sebuthylazine, are most effective on broadleaf weeds primarily corn, sorghum, sugarcane, cotton, macadamia orchards, pineapple, asparagus, other crops, and landscape vegetation, to some extent (3). Very low biodegradability (risk for drinking water) and xenostrognic effects are among the serious risks of triazines.

Atrazine (2-chloro-4-ethylamino-6-isopropylamino- 1, 3, 5-teriazine) (C8H14ClN5) Atrazine is the most widely used S-triazine. Other S-triazines used as herbicides are Symazine and cyromazine. Atrazine is not very volatile, reactive or flammable but dissolves readily in water and has been heavily used throughout the world especially applied to corn, sorghum and sugar cane (4). Atrazine usage have been increasing steadily since the 1960's to the level of about 64 to 80 million 1bs each year in the United States, making it one of the two most widely used pesticides in that country (3).

Atrazine is also used in Iran in corn and sugarcane areas. The amount of the pesticide which has been used in Iran from 2003 to 2006 has been reported as 224, 409, 221 and 240 tones, respectively which mostly used in Khuzestan province (114, 295, 125, and 125 tones, respectively) (5). …

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