1991 Health Survey Results

1991 Northport Community Health Survey

In 1991 concerned community members in Northport, Washington conducted a health survey of the community, from which they compiled a list of residents with similar health issues.  The goal was to draw attention to the abnormal amount of similar, rare, autoimmune-related health issues their small community suffered from because of, in their opinions, chronic exposure to the heavy metal toxins released by Teck Cominco (now Teck Resources), a Canadian smelter located 3 miles upriver from Northport. 

At the time of the 1991 survey the population of Northport, and the surrounding farms, was approximately 375 people. They collected 208 completed surveys. The survey results revealed the health issues diagnosed in residents, and the approximation of the residents diagnosed. 

Summary of Top Reported Health Issues

    • Cancer (bladder, prostate, stomach, kidney & colon):  55 residents (14.66%)
    • Ulcerative Colitis / Crohn’s Disease:  19 residents (5.06%)
    • Brain Aneurysms / Brain Tumors:  12 residents (3.20%)
    • Parkinson’s Disease:  2 residents (.53%)
    • Kidney Issues:  11 residents (2.93%)
    • Heart Problems: 23 residents (6.13%)
    • Manganese Poisoning:  4 residents (1.07%)

The majority of the residents diagnosed with most of these health issues, specifically ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, brain aneurysms, and brain tumors all lived within a 2-mile radius of each other, on either side of the Columbia River, in the Columbia River valley.

In 1991, at the time of the survey, approximately 1 in 100,000 people were diagnosed with either Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s in the United States, 0.001% of the entire US population. In Northport 19 out of 375 people had been diagnosed, 5.06% of the town’s population. 

In 1991, statistically 8 in 100,000 people suffered from a brain aneurysm or tumors in the United States, 0.008% of the entire US population. In Northport 12 out of 375 people had suffered from a brain aneurysm or tumor, 3.2% of the town’s population.

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