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Assessing Brick Kilns Number, Location and Use in Bangladesh

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Funding Year: 2016

Research Areas: Climate, Public Health

Regions: Asia

Brick kilns in Bangladesh produce damaging air pollution, accounting for 30-50 percent of particulate matter (PM2.5) emissions, which can cause cardiovascular and respiratory disease and even death. The Bangladesh government has attempted to regulate these kilns, but weak enforcement and underreporting have allowed the kilns to continue to operate. Using satellite remote sensing, this project will collect objective information on the number, type, and location of brick kilns in use across Bangladesh. The data will be disseminated through a publicly available website and used to catalyze a discussion among stakeholders in the public, private, and community sectors to work towards a system of brick manufacturing that is less harmful to human health and the environment.

Learn more about the Environmental Venture Projects grant program and other funded projects.

Principal Investigators:

Steve Luby, Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute and the Freeman Spogli Institute and Professor, by courtesy, of Health Research and Policy (Epidemiology)

Howard Zebker, Professor of Electrical Engineering and of Geophysics

Francis Fukuyama, Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Professor by courtesy of Political Science

Using satellite imagery, a team of Stanford researchers has designed a mapping tool with the potential to transform brick manufacturing across South Asia. If successful, their efforts could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants from brick kilns and lead to dramatic benefits for human and environmental health.

Stanford Scope Blog