What is the Northport Project?
An environmental health advocacy group and community awareness program created to protect, inform, and provide a voice for the residents of Northport, Washington — many whom are suffering similar health issues linked to decades of exposure to Teck Smelter’s pollution of heavy metal toxins.
The Northport Project provides current and past Northport residents with findings, updates and results from:
- The Teck/ EPA Upper Columbia River Remedial Investigation and feasibility study (RI/FS).
- EPA’s Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA)
- Ecology’s soil and sediment sampling, and evaluation of air monitoring
- Recreational and residential high priority clean ups
- The ongoing litigation between Teck Smelter, the Pakootas Tribe, and the State of Washington.
Goal: Collect health surveys from past and present Northport residents to ascertain if there are health clusters.
Purpose: In 2009, with the assistance of Northport residents and the Citizens for a Clean Columbia (CCC), The Northport Project conducted a community health survey. Of the over 500 survey’s returned, (by past and present residents), several health clusters were observed.
These illnesses included;
Thyroid diseases (116),
Cancers (Kidney, pancreas, breast) (65)
Brain tumors/ aneurism (23),
Heart arrhythmias (8),
Parkinson’s/Multiple Scoliosis (13),
Ulcerative Colitis/Crohn’s Disease (54).
Results: The results of our community health survey caught the attention of Dr. Josh Korzenik, from the Crohn’s and Colitis Center at Massachusetts General Hospital.
2012 Study: Dr. Korzenik and his team conducted a study of the diagnosed cases of Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease in current Northport residents. The study confirmed the number of cases to be 11.5 to 15 times higher than the national standard. According to Dr. Korzenik this is the largest Crohn’s and Colitis health cluster ever reported.
2016/2017 Study: Dr. Korzenik partnered with Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical school to conduct a second study, comparing the bio accumulation of specific heavy metal toxins in the participants. The participants fall into two groups: Impacted Residents – are those diagnosed with Crohn’s or Colitis. Control Group – residents not suffering from Crohn’s or Colitis. This study will focus on the bio accumulation of specific heavy metal toxins in the participants.
Additional Results: The Northport Project is currently reaching out to other Universities and Research Hospital’s in the hopes of getting additional studies done on the other health clusters Northport residents suffer from, such as; MS, Parkinson’s and Brain Tumors (to name a few).
Goal: Raise funding for FREE preventive, annual health screenings and heavy metal hair element and blood level testing for every resident.
Purpose: Northport’s health clusters of specific auto immune diseases are the same autoimmune diseases linked to chronic exposure to heavy metal toxins. The heavy metal toxins of concern are arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury. These toxins are found in Teck Smelter’s land and air emissions. The emissions that have deposited these toxins into Northport’s air, water soil and gardens for over a century.
Results: Free screenings and testing would monitor the resident’s bioaccumulation of these heavy metal toxins. The screenings will also provide assistance for early detection and diagnosis of diseases in health cluster. Early detection not only saves lives, but the program would provide research data that could be used to link accumulation of theses specific heavy metal toxins to specific health issues.