Bangladesh's population growth and increasing affluence have contributed to increased construction and demand for building materials (BBS 2012 ). Though bricks are the main construction material in Bangladesh, their production, mostly in the form of widely dispersed single small kilns, contribute substantially to poor air quality and poor community health (Brunekreef and Holgate 2002 ; Cohen et al. 2005 ; Guttikunda et al. 2013 ; Ostro 2004 ; Pope et al. 2002 ). During the dry season when they operate (normally November to April) they contribute an estimated 40% of the 2.5 micron particulate matter (PM2.5) in the air in Dhaka and throughout Bangladesh (Guttikunda et al. 2013 ; Hossain et al. 2007 ). Statistical modeling suggests that the air pollution generated by brick kilns results in between 530 and 5000 premature adult deaths annually in Dhaka alone (Croitoru and Sarraf 2012 ; Guttikunda and Khaliquzzaman 2014 ). According to the Environment Department, there are 7,000-8,000 traditional brick kilns in Bangladesh that are responsible for about 37 percent of the environmental pollution in the country. The kiln operations alone — while representing just 1 percent of the country's GDP — generate nearly 60 percent of the particulate pollution in Dhaka, according to Bangladesh's Department of Environment (DOE) Many of those kiln operations — including some 530 sites producing more than 2 billion bricks annually in northern Dhaka — are so-called fixed-chimney kilns, which use inefficient technology with little to no pollution controls. Under the project on the brick sector, an assessment was carried out to review the viability of the FaL-G technology in Bangladesh (with the help of inventors of the technology), in partnership with Department of Environment and Bangladesh Brick Manufacturers and Owners Association- BBMOA, through series of roundtable discussions focusing specifically on technical, and financial aspect of the technology; exposure visits to the actual sites where the FaL-G plants are in operation to understand the advantages and market related aspects from the brick industry entrepreneurs and end users of FaL-G bricks/ blocks and interaction with the policy makers in India to understand the advantages of the technology and also learn the opportunities and challenges faced by them in introducing the new technology and how they were overcome.
According to the Department of Environment's assessment in 2017, around 7,000 brick kilns in the country produce 2,300 crore pieces of burnt clay bricks from around 300 crore cubic feet of topsoil annually. To reduce PM2.5 and other emissions from brick kilns in a meaningful way, environmentalists say the Bangladesh government must enforce laws more stringently, recognize brickmaking as a formal industry, and promote financial policies to support kiln conversions. We are not against protecting the environment,” said Abu Bakr, secretary general of the Bangladesh Brick Manufacturing Owners Association, but if this act is implemented it won't be possible to have brick kilns anywhere in the country and millions of people working in this industry will become jobless.”