The rapid urbanisation of many cities in south and south-east Asia has increased the demand for bricks, which are typically supplied from brick kilns in peri-urban areas. This report focuses on the effects of elevated concentrations of hydrogen fluoride and foliar fluoride on fruit trees in the vicinity of traditional Bull’s Trench brick kilns in Peshawar, Pakistan. Awareness of the problem and the severity of its impact on the livelihoods of local farmers are assessed, and the wider implications of these results are considered in the context of brick kiln emissions in Asia.
The specific objectives of the study were:
• to assess the HF concentrations close to brick kilns using passive samplers
• to determine the extent of visible injuries typical of HF on fruit trees
• to determine whether visible injuries are associated with elevated foliar fluoride concentrations; and
• to assess, through interviews with local farmers, their awareness of the problem and the severity of its impact.
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