From Catholic News Agency:
.- After some Filipino Catholics developed mysterious rashes on Ash Wednesday, the Diocese of Caloocan investigated to determine the cause of the skin irritant.
While sabotage was initially suspected as a possibility, the reason behind the rashes turned out to be less sinister and more scientific – the ashes had been overcooked, which increased their level of acidity, resulting in rashes and blisters when mixed with water and applied to the skin. “They call it overcooked charcoal turned into caustic ashes that produce high acidity when mixed with water,” said Bishop Pablo David of Caloocan, according to Manila Bulletin.
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