respiratory health

Health consequences of small-scale industrial pollution: Evidence from the brick sector in Bangladesh

The adverse health impacts of air pollution have been widely documented, yet there is little empirical evidence on the externalities of the brick manufacturing industry industry. We conducted a field study in Bangladesh to quantify the contribution of brick kilns to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and respiratory health. We exploit variation in the timing of brick production, seasonal wind direction, and household proximity to kilns to isolate the effects of brick manufacturing from other sources of air pollution. Our findings suggest that existing regulations, which require that kilns be at least 1–2 km from residential areas, schools, and health facilities, are inadequate to protect nearby communities from the substantial health burden brick manufacturing imposes.