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Health effects of living near unimproved brick kilns and a pilot path to improvement

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Brick-load carrier
(Credit: @navaism)

Health effects of living near unimproved brick kilns and a pilot path to improvement



Quantify the contribution of brick kilns to local air quality and health outcomes in Mirzapur, Bangladesh.



Coal-fired brick kilns have proliferated rapidly in Bangladesh, and across South Asia, generating substantial air pollution. The adverse health impacts of exposure to air pollution have been widely documented, however there is minimal evidence from high-pollution contexts such as Bangladesh, in particular for outcomes beyond mortality. Moreover, the specific contribution of brick kilns to health outcomes has not been quantified. Given the lack of information on health consequences that can be attributed to brick kilns, these results will useful for advocating for change.


Project Dates

June 2017 – December 2019


Stage of Work

We designed a longitudinal study in one subdistrict of Bangladesh with our partners icddr,b and the Child Health Research Foundation, to estimate the impact of exposure to air pollution from brick kilns on asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), hypertension, blood oxygen levels and blood carbon monoxide levels. We are taking advantage of the seasonal variation in brick production to collect data from the same individuals at two points in time: the brick kiln season (November - March) and the off season (May - September).  We have completed both rounds of data collection and are currently cleaning and analyzing the data.


To Learn More About This Work

A Better Brick: Solving an Airborne Health Threat (Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)



Primary Contact:  Nina Brooks

Stanford University

.   Stephen Luby

.   Nina Brooks

.   Alex Yu

International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B)

.   Debashish Biswas



Stanford Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy & Asthma Research