As a densely populated South Asian megacity, Dhaka, Bangladesh, struggles with high levels of ambient air pollution. One of the major sources of emissions in Bangladesh is the brick industry. Annually, brick kilns emit kilotons of particulate matter (PM), a hazardous component of air pollution, into the environment. Exposure to PM has been shown to be associated with several increased morbidities. A quantitative estimation of the contribution of brick kilns to the concentration of PM in Dhaka city's air was calculated based on kiln production and spatial density of kilns in surrounding the city. These estimates were used to generate the approximate number of excess cases of several morbidities and their associated costs. The estimated contribution of brick kilns in the area surrounding Dhaka was 42.8 ug/m3 PM10 and 25.7 ug/m3 PM2.5. These increased exposure levels resulted in over 21,000 disability adjusted life years (DALYs) lost due to chronic bronchitis, lower respiratory infection in children, respiratory related hospital admissions and emergency room visits, restricted activity days, and respiratory symptoms. The cost of these morbidities was estimated at 118 million USD. These estimates support the further development and implementation of new, cleaner brick kilns in Dhaka, Bangladesh and in similar areas in South Asia.
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About this Master's Thesis
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