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Dolomite: Is It a Public Health Concern?

The majority of the workforce has to face hazards every day. When working in industrial and manufacturing facilities, most workers have to wear personal protection devices and breathing masks to avoid inhaling toxic fumes or prevent contact with poisonous substances.

Most common industrial and construction workers couldn’t care less about what some raw materials could do to the body. In fact, lead and chemical poisoning is a major public concern for a lot of third-world countries that heavily rely on their industrial sector for income. There is one building material that has been drawing attention from the public: dolomite. Some experts claim that such a substance’s chemical composition can cause complications to the body, while others would say it’s safe.

In different parts of Asia and around the world, dolomite is known for being used in manufacturing raw materials and construction. It’s commonly found in limestone deposits on mountain ranges and usually has a white to light brown hue. Its naturally white color has been used for landscaping and reclamation in several countries, which has drawn controversy.

But how does dolomite affect a person’s health when it’s used for landscaping or as a raw material for manufacturing? Here’s what you need to know.

What Is It Used for?

When it comes to a variety of different industries, dolomite is commonly used for construction, mainly in building roads and homes. It’s especially useful when it comes to processing metal parts, glass, bricks, and ceramics.

Suppose you’re looking for metal suppliers that use high-quality materials. In that case, you might want to check for manufacturers that use raw materials that are not detrimental to humans and the environment in general. Fortunately, there are metal fabrication services that use safe and durable materials when manufacturing high-quality metal parts. Safety should always be the top concern for manufacturing tools for everyday use and work.

In most homes, gardeners usually use dolomite to adjust the acidity of the soil, while others would use it for aquariums.

Interestingly, dolomite is also used in some health supplements since it has a good amount of calcium and magnesium. Having good amounts of minerals means that it’s especially helpful to individuals with low calcium or bone problems. In some cases, it’s even used in providing necessary nutrients to livestock by being mixed in with the feeds. Although, most medical practitioners have advised not taking such supplements because of the lead consistency.

Is It Hazardous?


But even though it does have a variety of different uses, is it really hazardous to most individuals? Artificial sand, especially dolomite, is known widely known for being a safe and non-toxic construction material. Even if these particles are quite fine, they won’t pose much of a threat when touched or inhaled.

Theoretically, small minerals that are crushed into tiny particles can cause issues with the respiratory tract. However, when it comes to dolomite, it’s only known for causing minor annoyance to individuals.

In several Asian countries, dolomite in the form of dust is deemed safe for use as a construction material and a means of “rehabilitating” polluted areas into tourist destinations. Although, most would argue that dolomite in the form of artificial sand is way larger than those that are crushed into even smaller particles. Since these particles are larger, they cannot be inhaled, which in turn cannot irritate the lungs.

When it comes to being used in construction sites and industrial complexes, most employees will often use N95 masks as a means of protecting themselves when handling minerals and particles. This means that this is not a problem for most industrial workers.

But despite being deemed non-hazardous by several government agencies, several findings have claimed that it’s not as safe as most people deem it to be. Any data and information regarding the correlation between dolomite and its long-term effects on the health of individuals are quite scarce.

What Are the Facts?

In a study done on dam workers exposed to dolomite found had symptoms of coughing, an increase in phlegm, and wheezing. When these individuals were being tested for the FEV1/FVC ratio (used to calculate lung disease), the deviation was quite different from those who were not exposed. However, the experts didn’t find any problems when they saw the X-ray results.

The bottom line? Dolomite isn’t necessarily a serious health issue. Although dolomite might cause breathing problems, the symptoms are quite similar to individuals that inhale your usual dust. Therefore, dolomite is considered just a mild annoyance rather than something serious.

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