EDCs, Glyphosate, Arsenic and Cancer Risks

April 15, 2020
1:00 pm US Eastern Time

Slides & Resources


Gail Prins: Prostate Stem Cells as EDC Targets that Increase Cancer Susceptibility.

Lianne Sheppard: Glyphosate: An Updated Meta-Analysis for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

Taehyun Roh: Arsenic: An Invisible Poison in Drinking Water.


Prins, G., Hu, W., Xie, L., Shi, G., Hu, D., Birch, L. Bosland, M. (2018). Evaluation of Bisphenol A (BPA) Exposures on Prostate Stem Cell Homeostasis and Prostate Cancer Risk in the NCTR-Sprague-Dawley Rat: An NIEHS/FDA CLARITY-BPA Consortium Study. Environ. Health Perspect, 126(11). Dois 10.1289/EHP3953.

Zhang, L.Rana, L. Shaffer, R., Taioli, E., Sheppard, L. (2019). Exposure to glyphosate-based herbicides and risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma: A meta-analysis and supporting evidence. Mutat Res-Rev Mutat. 781(186-206).

Roh, T., Steinmaus, C., Marshall, G., Ferreccio, C., Liaw, J., Smith, A. (2018). Age at Exposure to Arsenic in Water and Mortality 3040 Years After Exposure Cessation. American Journal of Epidemiology, 187(11). Dois 10.1093/aje/kwy159.

Smith, A., Marshall, G., Roh, T., Ferreccio, C., Liaw, J., Steinmaus, C. (2018). Lung, Bladder, and Kidney Cancer Mortality 40 Years After Arsenic Exposure Reduction. JNCI Natl Cancer Inst 110(3):dijx201. Doi 10.1093/jnci/dix201.

University of California, Berkeley. Arsenic Health Effects Research Program: Publications.

There is a growing body of scientific literature linking certain types of cancers to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in consumer products, pesticides, as well as heavy metals present in the environment. During this webinar researchers presented case studies looking at exposures to bisphenol A (BPA), glyphosate, and arsenic and cancer risks. Dr. Gail Prins opened the webinar giving an overview of EDCs and cancer risk. She also presented evidence, which documents that early life exposure to BPA (and other environmental agents) increases prostate cancer susceptibility to hormonal carcinogenesis with aging. Dr. Prins presented data showing that the prostate stem and progenitor cell population are direct targets and that this is sufficient to enhance prostate cancer risk in both rodent and human prostate models.

Dr. Lianne Sheppard then presented an updated meta-analysis for the association of glyphosate with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Considerable controversy surrounds the pesticide glyphosate, a non-selective systemic herbicide commonly sold as Roundup®. In order to investigate whether glyphosate is a human carcinogen, Dr. Sheppard and colleagues focused on the most highly exposed workers in the selected studies. Combined with evidence from animal and mechanistic studies, the results from this meta-analysis suggest a compelling link between glyphosate exposure and cancer.

To close the webinar, Dr. Taehyun Roh gave a talk on the risks of lung, bladder, and kidney cancer associated with arsenic exposure. Arsenic is naturally present at high levels in the groundwater of many countries, including Chile, Bangladesh, and parts of the United States. During this presentation, Dr. Roh discussed research from his study investigating long latency patterns 40 years after high arsenic exposure reduction and the increased incidence of lung, bladder, and kidney cancers, suggesting long-term intervention strategies and stricter regulation to protect public health.

Featured Speakers

Gail S. Prins, PhD, is the Michael Reese Professor of Urology and Physiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Co-Director of the Chicago Center for Health and Environment (CACHET, an NIEHS P30 Core Center) in the UIC School of Public Health. She is the Director of the University Andrology Laboratory at UIC and has been active in translational and clinical male reproductive research and activities for >35 years. Her basic research focuses on estrogen actions in the prostate gland including the influence of early life exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals and toxins on adult prostate cancer risk. Her work established that early life exposures to natural estrogens or EDCs (bisphenol A, arsenic) permanently reprogram the prostate and increase its susceptibility to cancer with aging. She has over 200 publications and currently is Principal Investigator on 2 NIH grants and a DoD award. She is a Past-President of the Society for Basic Urologic Research, and the American Society of Andrology and currently serves as an Associate Editor of Environmental Health Perspectives.

Lianne Sheppard, PhD, is professor of biostatistics and environmental and occupational health sciences at the University of Washington. Her research interests focus on understanding the health effects of environmental and occupational exposures; they include study design, measurement error, exposure modeling and estimation, and estimation of environmental exposure effects with application to a wide range of health outcomes. She served on EPA’s FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel for the evaluation of the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate. This led her to publish two review papers on glyphosate and a letter to the editor discussing the exposure estimation approach in the Agricultural Health Study. She recently discussed her work on glyphosate in Forbes: Glyphosate Science Is Nuanced. Arguments About It On The Internet? Not So Much. In addition is co-PI of the Air Pollution, the Aging Brain and Alzheimer’s Disease study and actively collaborates on a variety of research projects in the environmental and occupational health sciences. Dr. Sheppard directs a graduate program for quantitative training in the environmental health sciences and an undergraduate research experience program to enhance diversity. She is a fellow of the American Statistical Association and has served on multiple federal and research advisory committees.

Dr. Taehyun Roh, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Texas A&M University. He conducts environmental epidemiology research on the long-term health effects of arsenic exposure from drinking water. He has a broad background in environmental health, with specific training and expertise in toxicology and epidemiology. His earlier research topics include mechanistic toxicological studies across in vitro/in vivo experiments, and exposure and risk assessment of environmental contaminants. He has published multiple research articles in journals including the Journal of National Cancer Institute, and the American Journal of Epidemiology. In addition, he has taught Global Environmental Health and Epidemiology at University of Iowa and UCSF. He is a Registered Pharmacist in Korea.


This webinar was be moderated by Hannah Donart, MPH, Program Manager at CHE. It lasted for 70 minutes and was recorded for our call and webinar archive.