Community Health Survey Summary

Update on the 2009-2010 Northport,WA Community Health Assessment

(Article from the Jan 2011 CCC Newsletter)

In our July newsletter, we wrote about a health
survey being conducted by Jamie Paparich, with the
assistance of CCC and residents living in the
Northport community. Jamie provided a summary of
the first 128 questionnaires received. She has now
logged in 321 questionnaires and provides the
summary below based on responses to a checklist.
For details about the survey, see our July newsletter
on the website or at your local library.

This activity and the preliminary results from the
questionnaires drew the interest of CBC as well as
investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital
(MGH). Bob Keating, a reporter from the Nelson
Bureau of CBC came and interviewed Jamie and
several members of the Northport community about
their health concerns living downstream from the
Teck smelter and Celgar pulp mill. His report will air
early in 2011. The investigators from MGH have
funding for a formal epidemiologic survey, focused
on inflammatory bowel disease, to help better
understand the disease burden facing our
community and potential causes of disease.

Northport Population: From 1925 – 2010, the
population has remained around 375 people.

This includes the 5-7 mile radius surrounding the town.

Thyroid/Endocrine Disorders: 116 respondents (36%)

[General Population (GP): .6%] Generations
impacted*: All 3; most reported thyroid disease

Arthritis: 127 respondents(40%)

[GP: osteoarthritis, ages 45-64 years, .30%;
Rheumatoid .1%] Generations impacted: All 3

Cancers: 65 respondents (20%)

(colon, stomach, prostate, uterine, lung, skin, breast, kidney, throat,
and bladder) Generations Impacted: 1st & 2nd

Ulcerative Colitis (UC)/Crohn’s Disease: 54 respondents (17%)

(18 Crohn’s and 36 UC)

[GP: 7-11/100,000] Generations impacted: 2nd & 3rd

Brain Aneurisms/Tumors: 23 respondents (7%)

Generations impacted: All 3

Pulmonary Embolism: 8 respondents (3%)

Generation impacted: 2nd

Parkinson’s Disease/Multiple Scoliosis (MS): 13 respondents (7 and 6, respectively) (4%)

[GP: .1%/<1%] Generations impacted: 1st & 2nd


1st: born or living in Northport since 1925– present

2nd: born or living in Northport since 1942 – The
majority lived in the area for about 18 to 20 years

3rd: born or living in Northport since 1970 or children born to
at least one parent from the 2nd Generation; most were
not born or ever lived in the area.

**Jamie also found high levels of arsenic and mercury
from those reporting results of hair samples. Several
have reported high serum calcium as well.

Mindy Smith, MD, MS; Jamie Paparich

2 responses to this post.

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  2. Posted by Mark on December 5, 2013 at 10:39 am

    This is incredible. It would be interesting to find out the rates of illness around the surrounding towns including Canada. Then the next step would be to talk to the Canadian government and have them change the statute of limitations so that Teck Cominco is held accountable for what they have done and continue to do.


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