DOH cautions on respiratory issues arising from DENR’s Manila Bay project

Published September 7, 2020, 3:08 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

The Department of Health on Monday said the inhalation of crushed dolomite rock, the artificial white sand used on the shores of Manila Bay, can cause respiratory issues.


“Sa mga pagaaral, kapag na inhale natin ito, may mga (Based on studies, when we inhale this, there are) adverse reactions, respiratory mainly…Pero hindi naman natin sinasabi na (But we are not saying that) when you go to Manila Bay, you’ll get it at once. Yun lang sinasabi ng mga (That is just what is being said) in articles, medical literatures,” DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a virtual press briefing.

“So titingnan natin (we will see) how it is going to affect. But according to studies, dolomite dust… it can cause respiratory issues to a person,” she added.

Vergeire said dolomite dusts may also cause irritation to the eyes.

“Nagkakaroon ng konting (there’s a slight) irritation so you just have to wash it off with water,” she said.

If ingested, Vergeire said, it can also cause gastro intestinal discomfort, stomach ache and diarrhea.

“These are the minor effects of these dolomites placed at the Manila Bay,” she said.

To avoid such adverse health effects, the Health official said it would be good to continue wearing face masks.

“When you go to the Manila Bay for your R&R (rest and recreation), let us still observe minimum health standards. When you’re wearing your face masks, inhalation can be prevented also,” said Vergeire.

She, however, believes that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources would not implement the project if it did not undergo thorough studies and if it will cause harm to the environment and the people.