Archive for the ‘Northport IBD Study’ Category

Northport Crohn’s & Colitis Study Underway

Northport 2016 BWH/Harvard

Crohn’s & Colitis Study Underway

~ Still Recruiting Participants ~


Dr. Josh Korzenik, The Director of the Crohn’s and Colitis Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), one of the leading IBD researchers in the country, and his team have begun their second study of the health cluster of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease diagnosed in Northport residents.  Their 2011 study concluded diagnosed cases of ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease in the community was 10 to 15 times higher than national standards. This was one of the largest health clusters of these illnesses Dr. Korzenik  has ever seen.

The current study is a more in-depth epidemiological case-control study.  The focus is in finding a possible correlation of chronic exposure to specific heavy metals and ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

The case-control study includes participants who have been diagnosed with either Crohn’s or colitis as well as participants who have not been affected.  In March I asked for volunteers for this new study. The response I received was overwhelming. I provided the full list to Dr. Korzenick, however if you volunteered and have still not heard from them please call or e-mail them at:  or  617-732-9173.

It is not too late to volunteer if you haven’t.  They are still recruiting participants.

The scope of this study, and the study itself, has the very likely possibility of providing groundbreaking information the scientific community is greatly lacking.

Thank you to the many past and present Northport residents who have volunteered to participate in this study.

We cannot change the past or the damage Teck’s pollution has caused, and continues to cause, to countless Northport residents. However, by participating in studies like this invaluable information on the routes and duration of exposure to specific environmental toxins have in triggering or causing these rare diseases.  This could help accomplish prevention, regulatory changes, and better treatment options and cures for Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and possibly many other autoimmune diseases.

–  Jamie Paparich

BWH/Harvard Northport IBD Study to begin next month

2016 BWH/Harvard Crohn’s & Ulcerative Colitis study to begin in November

In 2011  Dr. Josh Korzenik, The Director of the Crohn’s and Colitis Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), one of the leading IBD researchers in the country, and his team conducted a study of Northport residents through health questionnaires and medical record confirmations. He discovered a health cluster of Northport residents with either ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease that was 10 to 15 times higher than national standards. This was one of the largest health clusters of these illnesses he has ever seen.

The causes, and a cure, for ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease have long baffled the scientific community.  Northport’s historical exposure to specific heavy metal toxins may be a contributing factor to the abnormally high number of residents with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Dr. Korzenik is moving forward next month with a new epidemiological case-control study of Northport residents; focusing on a possible correlation to chronic exposure to heavy metals triggering ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

In March I asked for volunteers for this new study. Participants needed are residents diagnosed with either Crohn’s or Colitis, as well as residents who do not have either of these illnesses (a control group).  I received many volunteers to participate.  Thank you!   However, I do not want to miss anyone who may want to participate in this ground breaking study.

If you have not already contacted me* to volunteer and you are willing to participate in this study, both diagnosed residents and non diagnosed residents, please e-mail me as soon as possible.  The study begins in the next two weeks.  

Contact Info:   or

* If you are not sure if you contacted me already please feel free to e-mail again!

The study is simple, and will take only a few minutes of your time.  You will be contacted by the research team, either by telephone or e-mail depending on your preference, to give your consent to participate in the study.  A questionnaire and a kit including scissors and nail clippers to obtain hair and nail samples will be sent to your home.  You will then send the packet back to the researchers, and the assays will be done at their lab.

Thank you so much to the community for your amazing support in volunteering for this much needed study!


Contact Info:   or

Disease cluster in town of Northport, Washington linked to pollutants released by smelter in British Columbia

By Kraft Palmer Davies, PLLC

Harvard Medical School researchers have determined Northport, Washington, a tiny 296-resident border town, has 10 to 15 times the normal rates of the inflammatory bowel disease. The town is located downwind and downriver of a smelter in Trail, British Columbia run by Teck Resources, which for nearly a century funneled pollution through the narrow canyon of the Columbia River. Residents have long suspected a link between pollution from the smelter and their high incidence of inflammatory bowel disease.

For nearly a century, the Canadian smelter pumped slag, a byproduct of metals refining, directly into the river. More than 10 million tons of the granular slag created the “black sand” beaches of the upper Columbia, a 150-mile reach of the river between the Canadian border and Grand Coulee Dam. The slag contains 25 compounds that include lead, arsenic, cadmium and mercury. Liquid mercury and other metals also flowed from the smelter’s sewer systems into the river. More pollutants came out of the plant’s smokestacks.

In the 1980s, the state placed air monitors in Northport which detected elevated levels of arsenic and cadmium. In the early 1990s, anglers in the upper Columbia River reported seeing beads of liquid mercury floating in the water. “When we were kids walking to school, we could smell it in the air,” said a 56-year-old resident of Northport who grew up about 15 miles from the smelter’s stacks.

About 1.4 million people nationwide have ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, a similar inflammatory bowel condition. The illnesses affect about one in every 200 people. Both diseases are believed to have environmental triggers, but despite extensive research the causes have never been identified. Researchers are now looking to Northport for clues.

Last year, 119 current and former Northport residents took part in a health survey designed by Dr. Josh Korzenik.. Seventeen had confirmed cases of either ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. “That’s about 10 to 15 times what we’d expect to see in a population the size of Northport,” said Korzenik, director of the Crohn’s and Colitis Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, one of Harvard Medical School’s teaching hospitals. “I’m not aware of any other cluster like it.”

Researchers have long suspected that environmental toxins play a role in Crohn’s disease and colitis, which have symptoms including abdominal pain and diarrhea. Both illnesses emerged after the Industrial Revolution, when exposure to pollution from coal-fired factories and vehicle emissions became a part of many people’s daily lives.

Korzenik has ruled out a genetic influence in the town’s cluster: Few of the individuals were related. Seven of the 17 cases were people who lived along Mitchell Road, where sulfur dioxide emissions from the smelter killed farmers’ crops in the 1920s and 1930s, leading to an international lawsuit. Korzenik plans to expand his research to nearby communities.

Residents of Washington living along the upper Columbia River suffering from inflammatory bowel disease may be entitled to recover from Teck and/or affiliated corporations for their injuries.

Northport Class Action Lawsuit Meeting

Steve Berman, a lawyer with the law firm Hagens Berman, will be holding an open forum meeting at the Northport Community Center on Monday, November 18th at 4:00pm.

Northport and Trail residents, past and present, interested in discussing a possible class action lawsuit against Teck Resources are invited to join.

If you are unable to make the meeting I will keep everyone updated on the outcome.

Thank you!
Jamie Paparich

Trail B.C. community requests colitis/crohn’s study in wake of results of recent Harvard study of Northport residents

link to article

Trail Seeks Updated Info On Bowel Disease Risks


Monday, November 19, 2012 – 7:46 AM

Trial has asked the Ministry of Health for updated information regarding the local risks of diseases like Crone’s and Colitis.

Mayor Dieter Bogs says a study completed in 1994 did not show a greater chance. But a September analysis by the Harvard Medical School indicated that Northport Washington residents downstream from the Teck Smelter are seeing increased incidences of 10-to-15 times the normal rate.

Council will send a letter to the Ministry of Health as a result and Bogs doesn’t expect the update to take too long because they are just updating old information and not conducting a new study.

Teck has previously said a number of human health studies show no link between the Trail operations and the diseases.

Harvard Doctor’s comments on findings in first phase of his Northport Crohn’s & Colitis Study

Dr. Korzenik, the Director of the Crohn’s and Colitis Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, one of Harvard Medical School’s teaching hospitals, is the physician heading up the current Northport Crohn’s and Colitis study.  The results of the first phase of the study was published  last month.  The abstract stated of the 117 current Northport residents who participated in the study 17 had been diagnosed with either Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis, 7 of those live along Mitchell Road.   

Dr. Korzenik commented on the results; 

That’s about 10 to 15 times what we’d expect to see in a population the size of Northport.  I’m not aware of any other cluster like it.”

He went on to say;

“It’s important for the people of Northport to understand why this is happening —  if there’s a particular exposure that’s leading to this extent of the disease in their community.  It’s also important for the larger community.  Does this hold an important clue?  Then it may hold answers for many other people out there.”

Huge Admission from Canadian Cross-Border Polluter, Teck Resources

Huge Admission from Canadian Cross-Border Polluter, Teck Resources

By rosehips | Posted September 11, 2012 | Northport, Washington

I have personally been waiting decades for this. In an historic admission on the eve of a court case pitting two members of the Colville Confederated Tribes, the state of Washington and the EPA against a Canadian company with a long history of pollution into the Columbia River, the polluting company has admitted that their toxic discharges have crossed the border into Washington State.

Teck Resources (fka Teck Cominco) is located just north of the Canadian border and is one of the biggest lead/zinc smelters in the world. They have been operating the smelter for over 100 years. A byproduct of the smelting process is black slag, which Teck discharged directly into the river for decades until locals across the border in the Northport, WA area began protesting back in the early 1990’s. This pressure helped prompt the Canadian government to force regulations upon the company. They built a brand new smelter. When the smelter design was discovered to be flawed, they built another one. They stopped dumping slag. We won that victory, but the fight didn’t end there.

For decades Teck maintained that the black slag discharged into the Columbia, that by some estimates totals over 50 million tons, was inert. But then in the 1990’s it was proven that the slag is not inert. The toxins within the vitrified sand are bio-available over time. And time has had it’s way with the slag.

In 1999, members of the Colville Confederated Tribes (CCT) came to local activists in the Northport area and asked for help in making Teck accountable for their pollution. Through years of tough legal work, years of study have been conducted by Teck, after an agreement with tribal members, the EPA and the state of Washington was reached. As local citizens directly impacted by the discharges, members of Citizens for a Clean Columbia (CCC) have worked hand in hand with the CCT, the EPA and various state agencies to see this day come. Teck has now admitted some of their toxic discharges that they released wound up in Washington. This sets the stage for them to be held accountable for the damages.

The locals in the Northport area, where I lived for 18 years, have been screaming for an epidemiological study for decades to prove what we already know: that there is a cluster of intestinal bowel diseases (IBD) in the area. We have asked the state to answer the question: Why do so many Northport residents have colitis and Chrohn’s disease? Well, after more than one flawed study, we finally got the study we were looking for. A team out of Massachusetts came out and surveyed residents. They analyzed the data and they confirmed that there is indeed a cluster of IBD’s with rates 15 times greater than in the general public.

So now what? I guess we will see what the courts determine. Attorneys have already been flocking, waiting to represent local citizens who have been impacted by Teck Resources. It is going to be an interesting phase of our fight for justice for the people who live along the upper Columbia River.

Stay tuned for updates.

Read more from the Globe and Mail:

Photos of “Black Sand Beach” by me. (Sorry they got pixelated!) The beach was remediated a few years ago by Teck at a considerable expense. They replaced the black slag that give the beach its name with clean sand. It was a major job but was necessary to protect to local folk who swim and fish there.

Thanks for reading!

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