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Teck responds to smelter illness accusations

A U.S. study has found an unusually high incidence of gastrointestinal disease in a small U.S. town located downstream from a Teck smelter in Trail, B.C.

Northport, Wash., is a small community of 300 people, located 35 kilometres downstream from Teck's Trail operations -- one of the biggest lead and zinc smelters in the world.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School have now confirmed Northport residents have 10 to 15 times the normal rate of diseases such as colitis and Crohn's disease, which have symptoms including abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Tuesday on Daybreak, we heard from Jamie Papparich. She's a local activist who has been investigating the matter for years. She says the problems originate upstream with the Teck smelter in Trail.

Daybreak host Chris Walker then spoke with Dave Godlewski, the manager of Environment and Public Affairs with Teck Cominco America, in Spokane, Wash.

He says the company is working with community members to understand what's making them sick.

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