Removing burnt bricks Black carbon is a major problem Poor working conditions Working conditions


Black Carbon


Black carbon is described as a Short Lived Climate Pollutant (SLCP), it is the result of incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, coal, wood and other biomass. Black carbon remains in the air for a matter of weeks, its removal brings immediate measurable benefits. Whereas CO2 remains in the atmosphere for decades, as a long term problem both short and long term emissions can be addressed at the same time.

Further reading on Black Carbon...  

Emission reduction is ideally addressed on a dual basis, tackling both short term SLCPs and long term CO2.

Many of the sources of black carbon relate to human activity from brick manufacturing (kilns), transportation, shipping, agricultural burning, diesel engines, residential cooking and heating. Brick kilns are one of the largest stationary sources of black carbon in Asia.

Black carbon is an important component of airborne particulate matter, a deadly air pollutant. Globally, the WHO estimates that outdoor particulate matter is responsible for more than 865,000 premature deaths each year. 

There are specific links between particulate emissions, heart attacks, cancer and respiratory illness. Black carbon has both global and regional impacts. It disturbs tropical rains, contributes to the melting of snow and ice in the Arctic, as well as glaciers in the Himalayas. It also contributes to atmospheric brown clouds and directly impacts on monsoonal rainfall patterns.

Black carbon severely affects both indoor and outdoor air quality in work places, homes, cities and villages. A 2011 World Bank report suggests that 40% of fine particulate air pollution in Dhaka (Bangladesh), is attributable to brick making. Issues of agricultural sustainability, diminished crop yields and food security are directly related to contamination from Black carbon particularly wheat, rice and soya bean crops.

Black carbon immediately and directly affects the living standards, health and working conditions of poor kiln workers, their families and surrounding areas and its population.


Cutting CO2 emissions in brick-making

The successful conclusion of the in-depth research study is a significant achievement for the Energy Efficient Clay Brick (EECB) Project, a CBA initiative funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented in South Africa by Swisscontact.

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