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Manila Bay ‘white sand’ tested a new

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MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Thursday said it had collected for processing its own samples of the dolomite sand now being poured along Manila Bay to ease concerns over its toxicity to humans and the environment.

In an interview with the Inquirer, Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the implementor of the beach nourishment project, had already had the sand analyzed by an unnamed third party last year.

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Manila Bay ‘white sand’ tested anew

By: Krixia Subingsubing - 6 hours ago

MANILA BAY ‘BEACH’ A worker walks across the crushed dolomite that is being spread at a portion of the Manila Bay shoreline near the US Embassy amid controversies on its costs and health safety. —RICHARD A. REYES

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Thursday said it had collected for processing its own samples of the dolomite sand now being poured along Manila Bay to ease concerns over its toxicity to humans and the environment.

In an interview with the Inquirer, Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the implementor of the beach nourishment project, had already had the sand analyzed by an unnamed third party last year.

But the DENR decided to have its own analysis of the sand, with the results expected within one to two weeks, to ease worries about the sand’s effects on humans and the environment.

“This is to make clear that we pay heed to the people’s clamor,” Antiporda said. “We want to [assure] everybody that everything they [are assuming] about the project—that it is corrupt, that it is unsafe—is wrong, because we are doing our part here.”

The DPWH has not released the analysis that should have been done by the agency’s contractors, Las Piñas-based MarkBilt Builders and Dragonhart Construction Enterprises, when they were awarded the P389-million project.

The DENR initiated its own analysis as toxicologists disputed the claim of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu that dolomite sand in itself was not harmful and that only its crushing was considered dangerous to human health.

In a webinar on Thursday, Dr. Rommel Aquino said dolomite, like all minerals, were known to have trace heavy metals that were toxic to the human body.

Even if the dolomite along Manila Bay is already in processed form, its constant exposure to elements could still create respirable dust that could cause respiratory ailments and even cancer, silicosis and other autoimmune diseases.


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