Will the Department of Health please look into this alarming situation and take appropriate action?
After, a GMA TV-documentary featured "Lason sa Paraiso" on the Hinapulan creek, among other places showing acidic water, no one seemed to have officially expressed concern or alarm on the abnormal levels of metals in water samples after the results were made public.
The silence from those concerned has been deafening. The obviously polluted creek that showed unusual bluish color and its negative effects felt by many residents, particularly children had become too evident.
The DENR was prompted to undertake water sample tests and the result was released after a month of study.
Copper level too high
The findings: Copper concentration in the creek was 10.3 milligrams per liter. This result showed that copper in the water samples is 25,000 times higher than the allowable DENR Quality Guideline and General Effluent Standard. The safe limit is 0.04 milligrams per liter.
High levels of cadmium and lead were also detected.
Interviewed for the program was toxicologist, Dr. Reynaldo Salinel, Jr.: He said, "Kailangan din ng katawan natin ng copper. Iba naman po pag sumobra naman, puwede pong masira po yung liver natin, kasi nga ang sabi ko ang pinakamataas na level nasa liver, brain and kidney. So puwede pong magkaron ng kidney failure, constant exposure nung tao... Lahat sila, mamamatay."
"Pag lead, malaki ang kaugnayan nito sa brain ng tao. Gayun din naman din yung cadmium. It's a very toxic metal, wala yan dapat sa katawan ng tao...", added Salinel.
Cadmium is a metal mainly used in rechargeable batteries and for the production of special alloys. It remains a source of concern for industrial workers and for populations living in polluted areas. Cadmium is hazardous both by inhalation and ingestion and can cause acute and chronic intoxication.
It was 16 years ago, in 2001 when DOH together with the UP-PGH conducted a health assessment of certain Marinduque residents. That assessment showed that 'children in the exposed areas of Sta. Cruz and Boac had histories of convulsions while those from unexposed Torrijos and Buenavista towns had none.'
Laboratory examination conducted among exposed children detected blood disorders such as anemia, leucocytosis and reticulocytosis. Children in Sta. Cruz were found to have elevated levels of arsenic and lead in their blood.
Time for DOH Secretary, Dr. Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial, to look into this Marinduque health issue she must be very familiar with. After all, the Health Secretary has not been under 13 other health secretaries for 27 years for nothing.
I also would like to make an appeal to many concerned individuals to support this move and/or make their/your own valuable calls, thank you.