Dolomite on Manila Bay shore not small enough to cause health risks, DOH clarifies

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The dolomite or white sand dumped on Manila Bay's shore cannot cause adverse health effects since it is not small enough to be inhaled, the Department of Health said on Wednesday, clarifying an earlier statement that detailed possible risks from exposure to the product. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 9) — The dolomite or white sand dumped on Manila Bay's shore cannot cause adverse health effects since it is not small enough to be inhaled, the Department of Health said on Wednesday, clarifying an earlier statement that detailed possible risks from exposure to the product.

The agency made the clarification after learning from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources that the crushed minerals were 100 times bigger than dust and cannot be suspended in the air. The DOH had earlier warned that inhaling dolomite particles would lead to respiratory complications. 

"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 endeavour," it said in a statement.

This comes shortly after Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso called the attention of Health Secretary Francisco Duque to inquire on the safety of the white sand project intended to beautify and clean the Manila Bay area.

The project had drawn flak from environment groups that criticized the effort as merely for "aesthetic" purposes. The DENR, in a recent House committee hearing, however, explained that the white sand is often used to filter water such as in aquariums.