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Hydrogen fluoride damage to vegetation from pen-urban brick kilns in Asia: A growing but unrecognised problem?

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JournalEnvironmental Pollution
DatePublished - Mar 2012
Volume162
Number of pages6
Pages (from-to)319-324
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

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 pen-urban areas. We report visible foliar damage to mango, apricot and plum trees in the vicinity of traditional Bull's Trench brick kilns in Peshawar, Pakistan. Visible injury symptoms, hydrogen fluoride concentrations in air, and foliar fluoride concentrations were all greater in the vicinity of brick kilns than at more distant sites, indicating that fluoride emissions from brick kilns were the main cause of damage. Interviews with local farmers established the significant impact of this damage on their livelihoods. Since poorly regulated brick kilns are often found close to important pen-urban agricultural areas, we suggest that this may be a growing but unrecognised environmental problem in regions of Asia where emission control in brick kilns has not been improved. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • Pakistan, Visible injury, Fruit trees, SOILS, WHEAT, YIELD, Air pollution, Brick kilns, RICE, AIRBORNE FLUORIDE, POLLUTION, SULFUR-DIOXIDE, Asia, Hydrogen fluoride, INDIA, LEAVES, VICINITY

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