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Environmental Assessment of Brick Kilns
By: SDPI

Partner: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)

Year: 2008-09

Objectives:
This study was aimed to undertake the assessment of emissions from BTKs (Bull Trench Kiln) with relation to the Environmental Protection Agency’s standards, to tabulate emissions from various types of kilns to draw down a regional comparison, to evaluate the effects of kiln emissions on urban health and to tabulate the mitigation measures adopted by the concerned agencies. It also included the study of the impacts of soil removal related to brick making and to assess the level of public awareness towards environmental issues prevailing in the kiln sector.

Methodology:
The methodology included a review of the literature, meetings with stakeholders and site visits. A team of experts conducted the social survey and assessment of health impacts. The literature review revealed that adequate empirical data was not available for assessment of BTK emissions in relation to the National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS). Meetings with health authorities also revealed that although there was a consensus that the brick kiln emissions did have negative health impacts, no scientific data was available. Therefore, an indirect qualitative survey technique centering on interviews with key informants was used for interviewing medical practitioners and paramedics in the study area. Direct field observations were made to assess the impacts of the removal of topsoil on the ecology of the area.

Finding:
The results of regional studies conducted in regards to various types of brick kilns show that Vertical Shaft Brick Kiln (VSBK) operation reduces green house gases e.g. CO2, CO, SOX, NOX. Apart from the green house gases, the most important matter is the emission of particulate matter both Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) and Respiratory Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM) in the respiratory range. The level of dioxins measured in the ash from the brick kilns showed that brick kilns could be a significant source of dioxins releases. The study recommended starting the process of exploring innovative scientific technologies to address these negative effects.