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DOH: Inhalation of crushed dolomite rock along Manila Bay can cause respiratory issues

The inhalation of crushed dolomite rock—the material used as white sand to adorn the Manila Bay coastline—can cause respiratory problems, among other health issues, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Monday.

Vergeire was referring to the initiative of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to decorate the Manila Bay shoreline with white sand using crushed dolomite rocks from Cebu province as part of a P389-million beach nourishment project.

“Ito pong dolomite, base po sa pag-aaral, kapag na-inhale natin ito, may mga adverse reaction [sa] respiratory system, mainly,” Vergeire said in an online briefing.

“Based on studies and medical literature, it can cause respiratory issues to a person. Kapag napunta sa mata, magkakaroon ng kaunting irritation. Kapag na-ingest, magkakaroon ng gastro-intestinal discomfort, pagkakasakit ng tiyan at pagtatae…ito iyong mga minor effects,” she added.

Vergeire, however, said that it is for the DENR to say if such an initiative is a sound move amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Hindi naman po nila ipapatupad kung hindi nila napag-aralan or if this will cause harm to our environment and the people,” she said.

“Ang sa atin po, people should still observe minimum health standards para makaiwas po tayo sa epekto ng dolomite diyan sa Manila Bay,” the health official added.

Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda earlier argued that adorning Manila Bay coastline with white sand will discourage people from littering and throwing trash in the sea.

Likewise, Antiporda said that dolomite is not harmful to the environment since dolomite can also be found in a sea coral.—AOL, GMA News