The EPA’s math doesn’t add up
40% of past and present residents of Northport, WA are sick with similar health issues. Yet, the EPA says, based on their research, the towns health clusters cannot be linked to the Canadian smelter located 12 miles upriver from the town.
by: Jamie Paparich
On Tuesday evening the EPA held a town hall meeting in Northport, WA to discuss the Human Health Risk Assessment they are conducting on the 315 residents in the community. 55 residents crowded into the small high school cafeteria that night, or 17.46% of the community. The residents listened as the EPA explained to them why they are certain that the communities’ chronic exposure to air pollution and slag emissions from Teck Resources, a Canadian smelter located 12 miles upriver, has nothing to do with the multiple clusters of rare, similar health issues throughout the community.
The 55 residents that attended the EPA meeting are part of a total of 383 past and present Northport residents who completed a 2011 health survey. All 383 of these past and present residents, spanning 3 generations, have similar health issues. That is 40% of 3 generations of Northport residents.
From a Statistical Perspective
Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease:
- Annually approximately 2–14 people out of 100,000 are diagnosed with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s in the United States – or: .006%
- 54 past and present Northport residents, spanning 3 generations, have been diagnosed with Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis – or: 7%
- Of the 315 current residents 19 people have been diagnosed – or: 6%
Multiple sclerosis (MS):
- Annually approx. 10,400 people are diagnosed with MS in the United States – or: .003%.
- 32 past and present Northport residents, spanning 3 generations, have been diagnosed with MS – or: 4%
- Annually approx. 23,880 people are diagnosed with Brain Tumors in the United States – or: .007%
- 19 past and present Northport residents, spanning 3 generations, have been diagnosed with/or died from a brain tumor – or: 49.7%
- From 1921–2005 Teck released 63,578 tons of heavy metal toxins (arsenic, cadmium, mercury, lead) through their air emissions.
- From 1906–1995 Teck released 58,611,000 tons of slag into the Columbia river, the equivalent of a dump truck emptying 19 tons of slag every hour, every day, for 60 years.
- Between 1994–1997 Teck’s discharges of arsenic, cadmium and lead equal MORE than the discharges of ALL the lead and zinc smelters COMBINED through-out the United States.
- For Teck Smelter’s Timeline of Pollution read; A Century of Evidence
Yet the EPA stood in front of those 55 people in the school cafeteria that night and tried to make them believe, statistically and scientifically, that their chronic exposure to heavy metal toxins from Teck Resources, and that of their family and friends, had nothing to do with 40% of their community being sick. Or at least, that is what their Human Health Risk Assessment will conclude….based on their statistic.