DOH clarifies: Process of crushing of dolomite hazardous to health

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 08 2020 01:09 PM

Workers spread white sand along a portion of the Baywalk in Manila Bay on September 3, 2020 as part of the Manila Bay Rehabilitation Program by the DENR. The white sand, which comes from Cebu, will be spread from the banks of the bay near the US Embassy to the Yacht Club. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Department of Health clarified Tuesday that the process of crushing dolomite was harmful and not the product itself.

The agency had earlier warned that crushed dolomite may cause respiratory issues as the environment department began dumping artificial white sand in Manila Bay.

"Ito pong proseso ng pagka-crush ng dolomite, dun po tayo nagkakaroon ng hazardous event or effects sa katawan. As long as it is processed already, hindi na po ganun ang kaniyang epekto sa mga population o sa mga tao," DOH Undersecretary and spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(The process of crushing dolomite produces hazardous effects to a body. As long as it is processed already, it will not have the same effect to people.)

"Sinisiguro naman po ng DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) na ito po ay will not harm the environment nor the population. Hindi naman po yan bibigyan ng clearance ng DENR kung ito ay makakasama sa kalusugan ng ating mga kababayan."

(The DENR assured the public that it will not harm the environment nor the population. It will not give its clearance to a project that will harm the health of the people.)

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Wearing of face masks will also prevent possible harmful effects to a person's respiratory system, Vergeire added.

"Tayo po ay nagpapatupad ng minimum health standard. Tayo po ay nakamask kung sakali there would be this kind of effect to our respiratory system, by using the mask we can be able to prevent that," she said.

(We are implementing minimum health standard. We are wearing a mask in the event there would be this kind of effect to our respiratory system, by using the mask we can be able to prevent that.)

The DENR's move to dump synthetic white sand nearby Manila Bay has received criticism, with environmental groups saying it violated several laws.