'Bigger than dust': DOH allays Manila Bay visitors' concerns on crushed dolomite

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 09 2020 09:47 PM

MANILA — A couple of days after it said that crushed dolomite can cause respiratory issues, the Department of Health issued a statement saying the beautification of Manila Bay will not cause any harm to people.

“As stated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the dolomite material that is being used in Baywalk is 2 to 5 mmm or 100 times bigger than dust, therefore does not get suspended in air,” the DOH said in a statement.

“Moreover, occupational health and safety standards for workers, and precautionary measures for the containment of possible dusty formation are being implemented,” it added.

The agency clarified that in its “bulk state”, dolomite, which is being dumped in Manila Bay as part of the city’s beautification efforts, “is not a known health hazard.” 

It said it is only in dust form that it can result in respiratory problems such as shortness of breath, chest discomfort and coughing.

“Therefore, in terms of the general safety of the public, who will be enjoying the shoreline once permitted, DOH assures that no untoward incidents will occur as a result of this endeavor."

The DENR and other concerned government groups have received flak for dumping crushed dolomite on Manila Bay. Environmental groups and experts said it will only cause problems to the natural ecosystem in the area.