2011 Northport Community Health Survey
With the assistance of Citizens for a Clean Columbia (CCC), and residents in the Northport community, The Northport Project distributed health questionnaires to current and past residents of Northport, WA between 2009 – 2011.
The questionnaires were distributed because of concerns about health issues possibly caused by chronic exposure to heavy metal and other toxic discharges from the Teck smelter for over a century.
More than 500 completed questionnaires were returned.
The completed questionnaires returned were from past and present residents who lived in the area anytime from 1925 to 2010.
I summarized the confidential information into 3 groups, each group representing a generation of residents. I chose to do this because the results clearly followed that pattern.
In my opinion, these results indicate that chronic exposure to certain toxins, through multiple routes of exposure, cause or trigger very specific health issues.
The groups were by generation, and are broken down as follows;
- 1st Generation: Living in Northport anytime during 1925 – Current
- 2nd Generation: Living in Northport anytime from 1942 – 1970 (The majority of this generation, born in 1942-1958, lived in the area on average for 18 to 20 years).
- 3rd Generation: Living in Northport anytime during 1970 – Current
- “3B” Generation: Children born to at least one parent from 2nd Generation; most were not born or ever lived in the area.
Represented Population Percentages
- General population (GP): prevalence estimates for these illnesses are provided in brackets.
- Northport Population (NPP): From 1925 – 2010, the population of Northport, and the surrounding farms, has remained stable at approximately 375 people.
Summary of Top Reported Health Issues
- 116 respondents (NPP : 36%) – [GP : 6%]
- Generations impacted : 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 3B
- 127 respondents (NPP : 40%) – [GP : .30%]
- [GP: osteoarthritis, ages 45-64 years, .30%; Rheumatoid .1%]
- Generations impacted: 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 3B
(colon, stomach, prostate, uterine, lung, skin, breast, kidney)
- 65 respondents (NPP : 20%)
- Generations Impacted: 1st & 2nd
Ulcerative Colitis (UC) / Crohn’s Disease:
- 54 respondents (NPP : 17% – Crohn’s:18/UC:36) – [GP : 7-11/100,000
- Generations impacted: 2nd & 3rd
Brain Aneurysms / Tumors:
- 23 respondents (NPP : 7%) – [GP : %
- Generations impacted: 1st & 2nd
- 8 respondents (NPP : 3%) – [GP : %]
- Generation impacted: 2nd
Parkinson’s/Multiple Sclerosis (MS):
- 13 respondents (NPP : 4% – 7 cases Parkinson’s / 6 cases MS) – [GP: .1%/<.1%]
- Generations impacted: 1st & 2nd
If you have any of the above illnesses, or a similar autoimmune disease, and did not participate in the 2011 Northport Community Health Survey please email me your confidential information to be included in all ongoing health studies.
I did not fill out the survey in 2011
My health: I have had chronic pain since a teenager diagnosed in 2016 with a 15 mm thyroid nodule… And deterioration of the disc in my neck.
It’s too late to speak to my mother, Lois Broderius (b 1937), and her younger brother, Henry “Hank” Broderius. Mom married my father (1956) and they ultimately settled down in Olympia where my 5 younger siblings and I were born. My mom died in this decade from cancer. Uncle Henry preceded her in death. My husband frequently said he saw signs in their behaviors that led him to believe they’d been poisoned by heavy metals from the mill. And I can’t say he’s wrong about that. My great-grandparents emigrated from Germany in the late 1800s and ended up in Northport. My grandfather, Harvey Broderius, was born and lived there until the 1960s. He passed away in the late 1970s. My mother’s maternal grandparents, Edmond and Belle Runyon, brought their children to Northport from Kansas. Are you also seeking information on the children of the 1st generation with one parent in the 1st gen? Please let me know and I will acquire additional information for you.
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Hi Carolyn – Thank you for sharing your story. I would love to get more details on your family history. If you could email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org I will respond with a list of questions I have. Thank you for sharing your story!
I am preparing for Broderius family relatives to arrive from Germany for a visit next week. So exciting! I wish to clarify that when I said my mother and uncle displayed behaviors that could have been influenced by heavy metal poisoning, particularly as you characterize them as 1st generation Northporters, I understand at least to a degree, the impact heavy metals can have on physical health and how those physical ailments can be displayed/revealed. I think I was a bit unartful in my earlier post in my description. Both were born, grew up there and I have many fond memories of visiting Northport as a child. It’s been far too many years since I’ve been there. I’m interested in learning more about the health issues in Northport. My fondest memories connected to Northport? Riding the train to visit my grandparents and extended family in Northport. The apricot trees! My siblings and I heartily enjoyed the abundance of apricots! My piano in my grandparents’ home. They sent it to my parents in the early 60s, I learned to play the piano – actually majoring in music (voice/piano) education with a foreign language (French – I thought living so close to Canada that it would be the most useful language I could learn) minor. That piano sits in my home still to this day, more than 5 decades later. It is such a part of my life! Jamie, and more history. I’ll be contacting you shortly to learn and share more. Thank you for this website. Carolyn
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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.
I was born in Trail BC in 1960 and lived within 1km of the smelter until The early 1970s. I have been diagnosed with mitochondrial disease, hashimoto’s thyroiditus, interstitial lung disease, complex migraine , ascending aortic heart aneurism and two brain aneurisms. I have four children. Two boys two girls. My oldest daughter just passed away two weeks ago at age of 25 years old after a lifetime of suffering from autoimmune disorders, mitochondrial disease, GI system that stopped functioning, complex regional pain syndrome among many other diagnoses. My youngest daughter (17yrs) is suffering from probable mitochondrial disease, autonomic dysfunction, rheumatoid arthritis, intractable nausea/vomitting, severe hashimoto’s thyroiditis. My father who worked at the plant suffers from MS and has significant lung problems. If we can help with this case in any way, please reach out to me. I would be happy to provide any information that would be helpful. This is truly a tragedy and something needs to be done to stop the carnage.