DENR's own tests find crushed dolomite in Manila Bay not 'hazardous'
This September 20, 2020 shows artificial white sand along the shore of Manila Bay.
The STAR/Miguel de Guzman
DENR's own tests find crushed dolomite in Manila Bay not 'hazardous'
Gaea Katreena Cabico ( - October 1, 2020 - 6:03pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources said the dolomite sand used to overlay a portion of Manila Bay’s shoreline is not hazardous, based on the analyses done by its attached agencies.

The department earlier initiated to have its own analysis of the material to ease concerns about the effects of crushed dolomite rocks on humans and the environment.

The DENR released Wednesday night the results of the analyses conducted on the dolomite sand samples from the Manila Bay beach nourishment project to determine whether they have heavy metals that are harmful to health and marine life. EMB and MGB are attached agencies of the DENR.

Engineer William Cuñado, EMB OIC director, said the results of the tests were compared to the limits set in DENR Administrative Order or the Revised Procedures and Standards for the Management of Hazardous Wastes.

“Basing from the results of the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure, none of the values obtained from the sample leachate exceeded the limits stated in the cited DENR AO, and hence the sample is not classified as hazardous,” Cuñado said.

The metals analyzed include arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury and selenium.

"It does not contain mobile forms of the mentioned metal constituents that may leach into the environment under conditions similar to that in a landfill. Moreover, the pH value is also less than the set limit for pH in the provisions of the same Administrative Order to be classified as hazardous," he added.

Last month, toxicologist Rommel Quijano said that dolomite may contain heavy metals, which can result in autoimmune diseases.

The artificial white sand beach was briefly opened to the public last September 19 despite opposition from environmental organizations and civil society groups.

The DENR earlier said that a “nourished” beach will prevent erosion and crushed dolomite rocks will help neutralize the acidity of water in Manila Bay.

The University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute said that topping a small portion of the baywalk is expensive and temporary effort that will not help solve the problems besetting the bay

“There are no shortcuts to a cleaner environment. The use of crushed dolomite sand will not help solve the environmental problems in Manila Bay,” it said. 

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