TECHNICAL, ECONOMICAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL ANALYSIS OF INFORMAL BRICK PRODUCTION IN TERCERA CHICA, SLP, MEXICO.

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UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA DE SAN LUIS POTOSI

FACULTADES DE CIENCIAS QUÍMICAS, INGENIERÍA Y MEDICINA

PROGRAMA MULTIDISCIPLINARIO DE POSGRADO EN CIENCIAS AMBIENTALES

AND

COLOGNE UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES INSTITUTE FOR TECHNOLOGY AND RESOURCES

MANAGEMENT IN THE TROPICS AND SUBTROPICS

TECHNICAL, ECONOMICAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL ANALYSIS

OF INFORMAL BRICK PRODUCTION

IN TERCERA CHICA, SLP,MEXICO

THESIS TO OBTAIN THE DEGREE OF

MAESTRÍA EN CIENCIAS AMBIENTALES

DEGREE AWARDED BY UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA DE SAN LUIS POTOSI AND

MASTER OF SCIENCE

TECHNOLOGY AND RESOURCES MANAGEMENT IN THE TROPICS AND SUBTROPICS FOCUS AREA “ENVIRONMENTAL AND RESOURCES MANAGEMENT” DEGREE AWARDED BY COLOGNE UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES

PRESENTS: Swen Oliver Erbe

CO-DIRECTOR OF THESIS PMPCA: PROF. DR. FERNANDO DÍAZ-BARRIGA

CO-DIRECTOR OF THESIS ITT: PROF. DR. JOHANNES HAMHABER

ASSESSOR:

PROF. DR. MARCOS MONROY FERNÁNDEZ

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UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA DE SAN LUIS POTOSI

FACULTADES DE CIENCIAS QUÍMICAS,

INGENIERÍA Y MEDICINA

PROGRAMA MULTIDISCIPLINARIO DE POSGRADO EN CIENCIAS AMBIENTALES

AND

COLOGNE UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES INSTITUTE FOR TECHNOLOGY AND RESOURCES

MANAGEMENT IN THE TROPICS AND SUBTROPICS

TECHNICAL, ECONOMICAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL ANALYSIS

OF INFORMAL BRICK PRODUCTION

IN TERCERA CHICA, SLP, MEXICO

THESIS TO OBTAIN THE DEGREE OF

MAESTRÍA EN CIENCIAS AMBIENTALES

DEGREE AWARDED BY UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA DE SAN LUIS POTOSI AND

MASTER OF SCIENCE

TECHNOLOGY AND RESOURCES MANAGEMENT IN THE TROPICS AND SUBTROPICS FOCUS AREA “ENVIRONMENTAL AND RESOURCES MANAGEMENT” DEGREE AWARDED BY COLOGNE UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES

PRESENTS: SWEN OLIVER ERBE

PROF. DR. FERNANDO DÍAZ BARRIGA

PROF. DR. JOHANNESHAMHABER

PROF. DR.MARCOS MONROY FERNÁNDEZ

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STUDIES SUPPORTED BY

DEUTSCHER AKADEMISCHER AUSTAUSCH DIENST (DAAD) CONSEJO NACIONAL DE CIENCIA Y TECNOLOGÍA (CONACYT)

LA MAESTRÍA EN CIENCIAS AMBIENTALES RECIBE APOYO A TRAVÉS DEL PROGRAMA

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Thesis Declaration

Erklärung / Declaración:

Name / Nombre: Swen Oliver Erbe

Matri.-Nr. / N° de matricula: 11067517 (CUAS), 0169620 (UASLP)

Aseguro que yo redacté la presente tesis de maestría independientemente y no use referencias ni medios auxiliares a parte de los indicados. Todas las partes, que están referidas a escritos o a textos publicados o no publicados son reconocidas como tales.

Ich versichere wahrheitsgemäß, dass ich die vorliegende Masterarbeit selbstständig verfasst und keine anderen als die von mir angegebenen Quellen und Hilfsmittel benutzt habe. Alle Stellen, die wörtlich oder sinngemäß aus veröffentlichten und nicht veröffentlichten Schriften entnommen sind, sind als solche kenntlich gemacht.

Die Arbeit ist in gleicher oder ähnlicher Form noch nicht als Prüfungsarbeit eingereicht worden. Hasta la fecha, un trabajo como éste o similar no ha sido entregado como trabajo de tesis.

San Luis Potosí, den /el ________________

Unterschrift / Firma: _______________

Estoy de acuerdo con una publicación posterior de mi tesis de maestría en forma completa o parcial por las instituciones con la intención de exponerlos en el contexto del trabajo investigación de las mismas.

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Acknowledgment

I dedicate this thesis to my deceased grandmother Magarete “Godi” Becker. I would like to thank my family especially my two mothers Barbara Erbe and Christel Lauer for their unconditional love and support.

My sincere gratitude goes to my supervisors: Dr. Fernando Díaz-Barriga for guiding me through my studies and giving me suggestions and for his patience and believe in my work and Dr. Johannes Hamhaber for his encouragement and support in preparing and accomplishing my thesis. I would also like to thank my co-supervisor Dr. Marcos Monroy Fernández, for his kind support.

My gratitude goes as well to the staff of the two involved universities Universidad Autonoma San Luis Potosi and University of Applied Science Cologne for making this international master happening. I want to express special thanks to Simone Sandholz and Gabriela Cilia López for their administrative and personal support.

Also I would want to thank the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development for the financial supports during my studies in Mexico.

A special thanks go to Dr. Alba Corral of Universidad Autonoma Chihuahua for her time, guidance, and willingness to share her knowledge.

Also many thanks to M.Sc. Luis Olvera Vargas, for his support and help to realize the maps of this thesis.

Sincere thanks to the members of Grupo Ladrilleros y Artesanos la Tercera Chica A.C. for their time, their patience, and support. It was an honor to meet with the brick producers who gave me an insight into the brick production and their living conditions. Without their cooperation this investigation would not have been possible.

Many thanks to my roommates Christine van Deuren and Isaac Jacob Chavez Acuña who became part of my family.

Thanks to my second family Ufuk and Nurhayat Kücükinsel for always believing in me and always reminding of who I am.

Special gratitude to my fellow compañeros of this master for becoming my good friends.

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Abstract

Small and medium-sized, traditional brick kilns are growing in cities of developing countries around the globe supplying the urban population with cheap construction materials. The traditional brick industry in Mexico, for example, depends on fuel-wasting equipment and technologies which contribute to air pollution and emissions of greenhouse gases and therefore have a negative impact on the socio - economic conditions of brick manufacturers and the ecology of cities. Cheap but also particularly harmful fuels such as tires, plastics, wood, and used oil are the main fuels used for firing the traditional brick kilns. In some cities of Mexico traditional kilns contribute significantly to air pollution, and in almost every city they represent a serious health threat to the population of marginalized neighborhoods, since in these settlements brick producers and their kilns are found. The regulation of such firms by conventional means is impossible, since they are usually not registered, numerous, geographically dispersed, highly competitive and not very profitable.

Mexico's medium-sized cities such as Puebla (1,399,519 inhabitants), Santiago de Queretaro (1,097,028 inhabitants) and San Luis Potosi (685 934 inhabitants) now depend on the brick production of hundreds of informal brick kilns, which are located in cities. Most of these brick kilns were usually located in the periphery of cities, and are now often found due to rapid urban growth within urban areas. One example is the district Tercera Chica in San Luis Potosi, which once formed the periphery of the city, is now surrounded by new settlements integrating it and its approximately 120 brick kilns into the urban.

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Resumen

Numerosas ladrilleras tradicionales de pequeña y mediana escala están establecidas en las ciudades crecientes de los países en desarrollo, donde abastecen a la población urbana con los materiales de construcción baratos. La industria ladrillera tradicional en México por ejemplo, depende de instalaciones y tecnologías que utilizan combustibles que contribuyen a la contaminación atmosférica y las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero y por lo tanto repercuten negativamente en el aspecto socioeconómico de los ladrilleros y la ecología de las ciudades. Combustibles baratos pero también perjudiciales tales como llantas, plásticos, madera usada y aceite usado son los principales combustibles utilizados para la cocción de los ladrillos en los hornos tradicionales. En algunas ciudades mexicanas, los hornos tradicionales contribuyen significativamente a la contaminación del aire, y en casi todas las ciudades del país representan una grave amenaza sanitaria para la población de los barrios pobres, ya que en estos asentamientos se encuentran las ladrilleras y los ladrilleros. La regulación de estas empresas es imposible por los medios convencionales, ya que generalmente no son registrados, son numerosos, dispersos geográficamente, altamente competitivos y sólo marginalmente rentables.

En México ciudades medianas como Puebla (1.399.519 habitantes), Santiago de Querétaro (1.097.028 habitantes) y San Luis Potosí (685 934 habitantes), dependen entretanto de la producción de ladrillos de cientos de ladrilleras informales, que se encuentran en las ciudades. La mayoría de estas ladrilleras se asientan generalmente en la periferia de las ciudades; no obstante, debido al crecimiento acelerado de las ciudades, a menudo se encuentran dentro de ellas. Un ejemplo de ello es el barrio Tercera Chica en San Luis Potosí, en este barrio actualmente existen alrededor de 120 hornos ladrilleros y en el pasado formó parte de la periferia de la ciudad; sin embargo, hoy en día está rodeada de nuevos asentamientos humanos y se ha integrando al interior de la ciudad.

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Zusammenfassung

Dutzende von klein- und mittelständische, traditionellen Ziegelsteinöfen sind in wachsenden Städten der Entwicklungsländer angesiedelt, welche die Stadtbevölkerung mit billigen Baumaterialien versorgen. Die traditionelle Ziegelei-Industrie, in Mexiko zum Beispiel, ist abhängig von brennstoffverschwenderischen Anlagen und Techniken, welche zur Luftverschmutzung und Emissionen von Treibhausgasen beitragen und sich folglich negative auf die Sozioökonomie der Ziegelsteinproduzenten und Ökologie der Städte auswirken. Günstige aber auch besonders schädliche Brennstoffe wie Reifen, Kunststoffe, Altholz und gebrauchtes Öl sind die Hauptbrennstoffe die zur Feuerung der traditionellen Ziegelsteinöfen genutzt werden. In einigen Städten Mexikos tragen die traditionellen Öfen maßgeblich zur Luftverschmutzung bei und in praktisch jeder Stadt stellen sie eine ernste Gesundheitsgefahr für die Bevölkerung der verarmten Nachbarschaften dar, da innerhalb dieser Siedlungen die Ziegeleien, sowie Ziegelbrenner vorzufinden sind. Die Regulierung solcher Firmen durch herkömmliche Mittel ist praktisch unmöglich, da sie meist nicht registriert, zahlreich, geografisch verteilten, auf hohen Wettbewerb beruhend, und nur minimal profitabel sind. Mexikos mittelgroße Städte wie Puebla (1.399.519 Bewohner), Santiago de Queretaro (1.097.028 Bewohner) und San Luis Potosi (685.934 Bewohner) hängen mittlerweile von der Ziegelproduktion von hunderten von informellen Ziegeleien, die sich in den Städten befinden, ab. Die meisten dieser Ziegeleien wurden üblicherweise in der Peripherie der Städte angesiedelt, und sind inzwischen durch das rapide Stadtwachstum oftmals innerhalb der Stadt vorzufinden. Ein Beispiel hierfür ist der Bezirk Tercera Chica in San Luis Potosi, der einst die Peripherie der Stadt bildete, und heute von neuen Siedlungen umgeben ist. Es befinden schätzungsweise 120 Ziegeleien in diesem Bezirk von San Luis Potosi.

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Table of Content

List of Figures ... V List of Tables ... VII List of Abbreviation ... IX

1. Introduction ... 1

1.1. Problem Statement ... 3

1.2. Justification ... 4

1.3. Hypothesis ... 4

1.4. General objective ... 4

1.5. Specific objectives ... 4

2. Conceptual Framework ... 6

2.1. Environmental impacts of traditional brick production ... 6

2.1.1. Fuels (Wood, Coal, Gas, Tires, Plastics, Used oil, and Garbage) ... 6

2.1.2. Impacts on air, soil and biodiversity, water, human ... 9

2.2. Socio-economic review of traditional brick making industry ... 12

2.2.1. Socio-economic conditions of traditional brick making industry in developing countries 12 2.2.2. Child Labor ... 14

2.3. Alternatives for traditional brick making industry ... 16

2.3.1. Cleaner Production (CP) and traditional brick making ... 16

2.3.1.1. Good housekeeping ... 18

2.3.1.2. Product modification ... 19

2.3.1.3. Input substitution ... 20

2.3.1.4. Technology modification ... 21

2.3.2. Relocation of traditional brick kilns ... 26

2.3.3. Organized traditional brick maker ... 29

3. Methodology ... 32

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3.1.1. Secondary sources ... 32

3.1.2. Primary sources ... 32

 About product modification ... 34

 About mechanization and new kiln design ... 35

3.2. Analysis of information ... 36

3.3. Review of methodology... 38

3.3.1. Observation ... 38

3.3.2. Participatory Action Research (PAR) ... 39

3.3.3. SWOT analysis ... 41

4. Study Area ... 43

4.1. Geographical space ... 43

4.1.1. Location ... 43

4.1.2. Climate ... 43

4.1.3. Geology and edaphology ... 44

4.1.4. Soil ... 44

4.1.5. Hydrology ... 44

4.1.6. Vegetation ... 45

4.1.7. Urban structure (segregation, transport, etc.) ... 45

4.2. Cultural space ... 46

4.2.1. Population ... 46

4.2.2. Education ... 47

4.2.3. Dwellings ... 48

4.2.4. Economy ... 49

4.3. Mechanisms to protect the environment in Mexico ... 51

4.3.1. Environmental policies for traditional brick industry in Mexico ... 52

5. Results and analysis ... 53

5.1. Results of surveys of brick producers in Tercera Chica, SLP... 53

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5.1.1.1. Methodology ... 53

5.1.1.2. Results of socio-economical survey of brick producers in Tercera Chica ... 53

5.1.1.3. Conclusion ... 57

5.1.2. Results of survey about brick industry in Tercera Chica ... 59

5.1.2.1. Methodology ... 59

5.1.2.2. Kiln industry in Tercera Chica ... 59

5.1.2.3. Fuels ... 60

5.1.2.4. Brick production ... 61

5.1.2.5. Labor conditions of brick workers ... 62

5.1.3. Production costs of bricks ... 64

5.1.3.1. Fuels ... 64

5.1.3.2. Raw brick material ... 64

5.1.3.3. Workforce ... 64

5.1.4. Cooperative ... 65

5.1.5. Relocation ... 65

5.1.6. Governmental support ... 66

5.1.7. Implemented improvements by brick producers ... 66

5.1.8. Conclusion ... 67

5.2. Kiln locations and conditions of Grupo Ladrilleros y Artesanos la Tercera Chica A.C. ... 68

5.2.1. Methodology ... 68

5.2.2. Results of kiln location and conditions ... 68

5.2.3. Selling points of bricks ... 72

5.2.4. Conclusion ... 73

5.3. Non-participative observation ... 74

5.3.1. Methodology ... 74

5.3.2. Brick production processes ... 74

5.3.3. Observation of child labor ... 83

5.3.4. Conclusion ... 83

5.4. Participative workshops in Tercera Chica with the traditional brick makers ... 85

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5.4.2. Results of the first workshop ... 85

5.4.2.1. Good housekeeping ... 85

5.4.2.2. Product modification ... 86

5.4.2.3. Input substitutions (fuels) ... 87

5.4.2.4. Mechanization and new brick kiln design ... 87

5.4.2.5. Relocation ... 88

5.4.2.6. Cooperatives ... 89

5.4.3. Second participatory workshop: SWOT analysis ... 90

5.4.3.1. Methodology ... 90

5.4.3.2. Results of the second workshop ... 90

5.4.3.3. Conclusion ... 95

6. Conclusions and recommendations ... 97

6.1. Recommendation for further studies ... 99

References ... 100

Appendix 1: Kiln comparison ... 108

Appendix 2: Official Mexican Standards for air quality measurement and emission content evaluation ... 119

Appendix 3: Questionnaire ... 120

Appendix 4: Results of production costs and income ... 125

Appendix 5: Brick kiln location (GPS), conditions and photos ... 130

Appendix 6: Roofing design for drying area of raw bricks ... 141

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List of Figures

Figure 2.2.1: Distribution of child labor according to sector and sex, 2007 ... 15

Figure 2.3.1: A basic brick clamp ... 23

Figure 2.3.2: Insulation of a fired scove clamp/kiln ... 24

Figure 3.3.1: Traditional SWOT analysis ... 42

Figure 4.1.1: Map of Mexico, map of San Luis Potosi and map of Tercera Chica ... 43

Figure 4.1.2: Climate diagram of San Luis Potosi ... 44

Figure 4.2.1: Total population and gender distribution in Tercera Chica ... 46

Figure 4.2.2: Population and age group in Tercera Chica ... 46

Figure 4.2.3: Health service of the population in Tercera Chica ... 47

Figure 4.2.4: Educational level of population of the age 15 years older in Tercera Chica ... 47

Figure 4.2.5: Construction materials of private dwelling in Tercera Chica ... 48

Figure 4.2.6: Infrastructure and public services of the private dwellings in Tercera Chica ... 48

Figure 4.2.7: Dwelling ownership in Tercera Chica ... 49

Figure 4.2.8: Population of age 12 and older economically inactive in Tercera Chica ... 49

Figure 4.2.9: Labor agreement of the employed population in Tercera Chica ... 50

Figure 5.1.1: Interviewed brick producers in Tercera Chica: Age groups ... 54

Figure 5.1.2: Educational level of brick producers in Tercera Chica ... 54

Figure 5.1.3: Dwelling and household of brick producer families in Tercera Chica ... 55

Figure 5.1.4: Access of the brick producers’ dwellings to public services in Tercera Chica ... 56

Figure 5.1.5: Means of transportation used by brick producers in Tercera Chica ... 56

Figure 5.1.6: Used fuels for firing process among participants of the survey ... 60

Figure 5.1.7: Minimum, average and maximum number of brick production per kiln and firing in Tercera Chica ... 61

Figure 5.1.8: Average number of bricks produced per month in Tercera Chica and average rainfalls per month in San Luis Potosi ... 62

Figure 5.1.9: Participants working hours per day in the brick production of Tercera Chica ... 63

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Figure 5.1.11: Average expenditure (Mexican pesos) per raw brick material per brick production in

Tercera Chica ... 64

Figure 5.2.1: Relation of wind direction to firing chamber ... 69

Figure 5.2.2: Map of locations of kilns owned by members of Grupo Ladrilleros y Artesanos la Tercera Chica A.C. in residential area of SLP ... 70

Figure 5.2.3: Map of locations of kilns owned by members of Grupo Ladrilleros y Artesanos la Tercera Chica A.C. and location of selling points of bricks ... 71

Figure 5.3.1: Panorama photos of a brick making area ... 74

Figure 5.3.2: Process step of mixing the soil, water, and additives ... 77

Figure 5.3.3: Process step molding the bricks ... 78

Figure 5.3.4: Process step of drying the molded bricks ... 79

Figure 5.3.5: Scotch kiln (traditional kiln) in Tercera Chica ... 80

Figure 5.3.6: Process step of loading the kiln with molded bricks ... 80

Figure 5.3.7: Process step of firing the kiln ... 81

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List of Tables

Table 2.1.1: Emissions by fuels ... 7

Table 2.2.1: Number of brick kilns and organized brick producers: Ciudad Juarez, Saltillo, Torreon and Durango ... 13

Table 2.2.2: Child labor of high risks identified by IPEC per country ... 14

Table 2.3.1: Solutions to increase efficiency and reduce waste in brick production ... 17

Table 2.3.2: CP – Method: Good housekeeping ... 18

Table 2.3.3: CP – Method: Product modification ... 19

Table 2.3.4: CO2 emitted by burning of bricks (m2) Traditional kiln using wood and sawdust (Cusco) 19 Table 2.3.5: CP – Method: Input substitution ... 20

Table 2.3.6: Typical biomass fuels net calorific values ... 21

Table 2.3.7: CP – Method: Technology modification ... 22

Table 2.3.8: Disadvantages of brick clamps ... 22

Table 2.3.9: Advantages of brick clamps ... 23

Table 2.3.10: Energy use and efficiency by kiln and fuel types ... 25

Table 2.3.11: Example for Ciudad Juarez: Categorized indicators for the analysis of possible relocation areas for the traditional brick making industry ... 28

Table 2.3.12: Benefits of relocation ... 29

Table 2.3.13: Some benefits of an association/cooperative ... 30

Table 3.1.1: Participative workshop topics: Ten actions of good housekeeping ... 34

Table 3.1.2: SWOT Matrix used for participative workshop ... 36

Table 3.2.1: Indicators to evaluate conditions of kilns in Tercera Chia ... 36

Table 3.3.1: Observation methods ... 39

Table 3.3.2: Strengths and weaknesses of observational methods ... 39

Table 3.3.3: Characteristics of PAR ... 40

Table 3.3.4: Some strengths and weaknesses of participatory action research ... 41

Table 3.3.5: Common methods used in PAR ... 41

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Table 4.3.1: Implemented policies of four Mexican state governments regulating air pollution of

informal brick industry. ... 52

Table 5.1.1: Comparison kiln age with duration of firing process ... 60

Table 5.1.2: Amounts of fuels used per firing among participants of the survey ... 61

Table 5.1.3: Average price per brick (MXN) ... 61

Table 5.1.4: Average price per fuel ... 64

Table 5.2.1: Evaluation of brick kiln conditions in Tercera Chica ... 68

Table 5.3.1: Production process and impacts of traditional brick industry in Tercera Chica, SLP, Mexico ... 76

Table 5.4.1: The experience of good housekeeping methods of the traditional brick makers in Tercera Chica ... 85

Table 5.4.2: SWOT: Vertical Shaft Brick Kiln ... 91

Table 5.4.3: SWOT: Good practices ... 91

Table 5.4.4. SWOT: Mechanization (Dosificadora) ... 92

Table 5.4.5: SWOT: Biomass as fuel ... 92

Table 5.4.6. SWOT: Cooperative ... 93

Table 5.4.7: SWOT: Relocation ... 94

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List of Abbreviation

CDM Clean Development Mechanism

CENICA Centro Nacional de Investigación y Capacitación Ambiental (National Environmental Research and Training Center)

CER Certified Emission Reduction

CONASAMI Comisión Nacional de los Salarios Mínimos (National Commission on Minimum Wages)

CP Cleaner Production

FEMAP Mexican Federation of Private Associations

FOCER Energia Renovable para America Central (Renewable Energy for Central America)

GTZ German Society for Technical Cooperation

HP Horse Power

INEGI Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (National Institute of Statistics and Geography)

IPEC International Programm on the Elimination of Child Labour MK2 Marquez Kiln (type of ecological kiln)

MXN Mexican Peso (ISO 4217; formerly MXP) PAN Partido Acción Nacional (National Action Party) PAR Practipatory Action Research

PRAL Programa Regional de Aire Limpio (Regional Program for Clean Air) PRI Partido Revolucionario Institucional (Institutional Revolutionary Party)

SEMARNAT Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources)

SLP San Luis Potosi

SWOT - Analysis Strength – Weakness – Opportunity – Threats – Analysis

UASLP Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosi (Autonomous University of San Luis Potosi) UNEP United Nations Environment Programme

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USD U.S. Dollar

VAT Value Added Tax

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1.

Introduction

Population and economy growth in cities of developing countries1 around the world lead to more construction sites and therefore a higher demand of cheap construction materials. Traditionally produced bricks feed this urge at a high prize. They are mainly fired with a variety of cheap, highly-polluting fuels such as plastic refuse, old tires, used oil, wood, and all kinds of residential and industrial waste materials causing toxic air and soil pollution. Effected most are residents of the traditional respectively informal brick producing communities which are usually the poorest neighborhoods; and of course brick producers and their workers themselves (Blackman, Shih and Newbold, 2000). Due to rising numbers of kilns, emissions from informal brick production are held responsible for great parts of air pollution. In some cities only peaked by the emissions of the vehicular fleet (Romo Aguilar et al., 2004).

In Mexico, as in developing countries around the world, small-scale traditional brick kilns are a notorious informal sector source of urban air pollution. According to estimations in 1994 there have been approximately 20,000 traditional brick kilns in Mexico (Johnson et al. quoted in Blackman, 2000) where many large cities support several hundred.

The air pollution caused by the traditional brick industry of Mexican border cities became of governmental concern due to the fact that air pollution in El Paso/Ciudad Juarez is a primary cause of regional environmental degradation and affected US-urbanizations situated on the Mexican border (Liverman, 1999). Efforts to reduce air pollution from the Ciudad Juarez brick kilns initially began in the early 1990s. Three groups have been researching methods of constructing brick kilns to make them more efficient by improving the combustion process and reducing fuel requirements (TCEQ, 2002).

Efforts to reduce or control pollution from traditional kilns in Mexico have not been coordinated at the national level. Rather, individual municipalities have implemented a variety of strategies which have had decidedly mixed success (Blackman, 2000). The implemented strategies include: Cleaner Technological Change (good housekeeping, kiln design and energy efficiency just to name some), fuel substitution and efficiency, relocation, green subsidies, policies and education initiatives among others. However, the experience shows that the social and economic context of people working in this industry does not allow important changes, therefore making any initiative for brick kiln improvements and/or their relocation difficult (Romo Aguilar et al., 2004).

1A first strategy to make construction more sustainable is promoting low-energy or renewable materials, such

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The present investigation focuses on the traditional brick industry in the city of San Luis Potosi (SLP), Mexico and studies possible strategies for these traditional brick makers (Spanish: ladrilleros) in order to lessen the environmental impact that the traditional brick making industry has. Strategies which have already been applied in other cities such as cleaner technologies (good housekeeping, product modification, input substitution, and technology modification), relocation and organizational forms of brick producers (associations) will be examined, considering the socio-economic conditions of Tercera Chica, and will be evaluated in a participative process together with the brick producers. The industrial city San Luis Potosi, the capital of the state of the same name is located in central Mexico and has a population of 690,481 in the city (approximately 1,021,688 in the metropolitan area) (INEGI, 2005). The traditional brick industry is distributed mainly in three areas, two are located in the periphery of the city, and one area is situated in the urban area close to the old center. The focus of the present study is the traditional brick industry placed in the district Tercera Chica which is located within city limits. It has attracted attention because it is supposed to be a health hazard to those who live nearby.

This investigation on traditional brick manufacturing at small scale industry level in Tercera Chica, San Luis Potosi aims to make recommendations of feasible technologies and organizational opportunities (relocation and CDMs) considering the socio-economical context of the traditional brick producers in Tercera Chica. The district Tercera Chica is home to approximately 120 small-scale brick kilns, which use fuels such as used tires, plastic, scraped wood, used motor oil, and refuse.

In the second chapter the study presents first a review of the environmental impacts that traditional brick making has, socio-economic conditions of traditional brick producers in developing countries reviewing additionally the informal brick industries in Mexico (income, process, employees etc.); and cleaner technologies among other strategies which were implemented in developing countries around the world to improve the socio-economic and environmental circumstances of traditional brick industries.

The third chapter consists of the methodology describing the chosen methods for data collection, data analysis, and review of advantages and disadvantages of applied methods.

The forth chapter outlines the study area’s geographical space and cultural space, and the environmental regulations of Mexico.

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The sixth chapter resumes recommendations and identifies possible methods elaborated by findings of the socio-economic conditions, manufacturing process and cleaner technologies and presents technologies and strategies which are non-applicable because of the socio-economical context.

1.1.

Problem Statement

Environmental issues: According to different scientific researches informal firms are usually more pollution-intensive than large firms in the same industry because they lack pollution control equipment and access to basic sanitation services (Lanjouw, 1997; Blackman, 2006:53-59). Since the traditional respectively informal brick industry is a significant source of employment and is often situated in poor residential areas its emissions directly affect a considerable population2.

Traditional kiln emissions represent an urgent environmental problem as soil, air and, water is contaminated because brick kilns are primarily associated with carbon monoxide and particulate emissions, depending on the fuels used, they also emit volatile organic compounds, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, heavy metals, and carbon dioxide, the most important greenhouse gas (Johnson et al., 1994).

In addition to contributing to city-wide pollution, traditional kilns are a serious local health hazard to those living in areas near the kilns. In many cases brick producers first settle in colonies situated on the outskirts of the city. Over time, however, most have been enveloped by urban sprawl (examples Ciudad Juarez, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosi etc.).

Although the principal factor of contamination in urban areas is the traffic, it can be assumed that given the sheer number of such firms in developing countries, the aggregated environmental impacts can be very significant. Estimations show that the Asian informal brick production alone emits 180 million tons of CO2 annually which resembles one third of the CO2 emissions caused by the global

aviation industry (550 million tons/year) in 2008 (Heierli and Maithel, 2008).

Socio-economic issues:

The cost-efficiency of traditional brick industries is low, even though the distribution of traditionally made bricks is high. Furthermore the traditional brick industry is vulnerable to changes in prices of the primary materials (water, soil, sawdust and wood), which can lead to the insolvency of a traditional brick industry in a city. The families of brick producers live in marginalized neighborhoods, often without basic services (FEMAP quoted in Blackman & Bannister 1998). As well child labor is a common phenomenon in manufacturing brick industries (Varillas, 2003).

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The traditional brick industry is a labor intensive, low technology activity in which generates low incomes for the brick-producers. Most of the brick producers have an income which allows them to pay just for basic necessaries. The traditional brick making as any informal industry is highly competitive (since barriers to entry are relatively low) and therefore brick producers are under considerable pressure to cut costs regardless of the environmental impact or minimum wages for their employees.

1.2.

Justification

The traditional brick industry in Tercera Chica is located within city limits, which causes environmental impacts on the neighborhood and probably the city itself. Studies about the health of children are in process by doctoral students of the Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosi. Another step to approach the problem of contamination caused by the brick producers is to develop technical, spatial respectively organizational strategies together with the brick producers to reduce the pollution of traditional brick kilns, in a participative process considering the socio-economic conditions of the participants (brick producers). The brick producers are interested in implementing changes due to following reasons: they are aware of causing contamination, market situation (low demand; high competition) and because of pressure from the state government.

1.3.

Hypothesis

The research of technical, social-economic, and organizational conditions of informal brick making helps to identify technologies, indicators with socio-economic objectives, and to formulate appropriate interactions (spatial, organizational structures) for the promotion of cleaner technologies which can lessen the environmental pollution.

1.4.

General objective

Investigation of the technical, socio-economical and organizational conditions of the informal brick making industry in the district Tercera Chica, SLP in order to find appropriate interactions to minimize the environmental contamination and improve the socio-economical impacts.

1.5.

Specific objectives

 Investigating number of traditional brick kilns in Tercera Chica, SLP and their capacities and conditions.

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 Estimation of environmental impacts caused by traditional brick making technologies. Analyze existing data of pollution caused by traditional brick industry related to fuels being used in order to estimate possible environmental impacts.

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2.

Conceptual Framework

The conceptual framework is structured in three different parts: the environmental impacts which are caused by the traditional brick industry, the socio-economic conditions of the traditional brick making industry in developing countries, and alternatives for the traditional brick making industry.

2.1.

Environmental impacts of traditional brick production

Traditional brick production has different impacts on the environment and human health. Brick producers use waste materials like sawdust, wood shavings, and scrap wood as fuels which contain resins and chemical compounds (Huston et al., 2002). Also cheaper waste materials such as old tires, used motor oil, plastics, and garbage (Huston et al., 2002).

Beside this, traditional kilns have an inefficient energy use, because heat is not well distributed inside the kiln and lost due to bad insulation of the kiln walls which generates higher fuel consumptions, more firing time, and more emissions (The Cadmus Group Inc., 2009).

Mexican laws and federal agencies such as Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente (PROFEPA) consider it illegal to use materials like tires, plastics, garbage and motor oil as fuel for brick firing (Huston et al., 2002), but most of the brick producers live in poverty and their socio-economical situation does not allow them to acquire less polluting fuels which are usually more costly (Romo Aguilar et al., 2004).

Around the world different kinds of materials are being used to fire brick kilns. There are also many different kinds of kilns operating, some are better in terms of energy efficiency and produce less polluting emissions. But the majority of kilns used in traditional brick making produces huge quantities of contaminants which are incorporate into the air and from there to other abiotic (soil and water) and biotic elements (animals, plants, humans).

2.1.1. Fuels (Wood, Coal, Gas, Tires, Plastics, Used oil, and Garbage)

Informal brick producers decide which kind of fuel or fuels are going to be used by two factors; costs and availability.

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Table 2.1.1: Emissions by fuels

Fuels Emissions

Wood NOX, VOC, CO, PM10 and PM2.5, SO2

Oil impregnated wood/ wood

shavings NOX, VOC, CO, PM10 and PM2.5, SO2, NH3 Mesquite and Tecate NOX, VOC, CO, PM10 and PM2.5, NH3

Sawdust NOX, VOC, CO, PM10 and PM2.5, NH3

Saladillo or typical flora of the region, cob corn, coffee husks, coconut shell

NOX, VOC, CO, PM10 and PM2.5, NH3

Used Oil CO2, CO, NOX, PM10, SO2, TOC, HCl, Cr, Ni, CH4

LP Gas CO2, CO, PM, SO2, CH4, N2O, NOX, TOC, CH4

Tires CO2, CO, Metals, NOX, VOC, CO, PM10 and PM2.5, SO2

Cow manure, chicken manure, or

manure COT, Dioxins and furans, CH4, NH3

Waste and plastics CH4, CO2, N2O, Dioxins and furans, TOC, VOC

Oil

CO2, CO, NOX, CO, PM10 and PM2.5, SO2, CPM-COT, CPM-IOR, CPM-ORG,

CH4, Particles, N2O, Polycyclic Organic Matter (POM) and formaldehyde

(HCOH), Chlorides, Fluorides, Ni, V, CO, Cry Pb Hazardous Waste solid tow, waste

from filtration TOC, VOC

Sole and Leather CO2, CO, NOX, VOC, PM10 and PM2.5, SO2, Hexavalent chromium, Metals

Source: IPCC, EPA, INEM quoted by Trejo Cuevas, 2010

 Wood and Coal

Wood used as fuel is responsible for the emissions of both trace and non-trace greenhouse gases, such as CO2 (carbon dioxide), CH4 (methane), CO (carbon monoxide), N2O (nitrous oxide), NOX

(mono-nitrogen oxides) and NO ((mono-nitrogen oxide). According to Alam (2006) it is important to know the accurate estimation of greenhouse gas emission from biomass fuel burning in small combustion and their significance in order to suggest suitable mitigation options (WB, 1998; ITDG, 2005 quoted by Alam, 2006: 33). Depending on the source (or process) of the fuel, volatile organic compounds (VOC) and hazardous air pollutants including PAH, dioxins and furans can be emitted which are extremely potent and toxic (Beauchemin & Tampier, 2008).

 Gas

Liquefied Petroleum Gases (LPG or LP gases) include propane, propylene, butane, and butylenes; propane is the most common gas used in kilns as well as in other industrial and domestic activities. LPG gas is considered a clean fuel; however, “gaseous pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOX),

carbon monoxide (CO), and organic compounds are produced as are small amounts of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and particular matter (PM)” (EPA, 2008: 2) mainly due to poor burner designs which can cause

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The greenhouse gases emitted by propane and other gas combustions are carbon dioxide (CO2),

methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O); but the emission amount of each gas can be reduced by the

control of different factors such as combustion temperature, etc.

 Tires

Tires used as fuel for kilns are one of the most pollutant sources; according to Lane (2007), the list of contaminants include: nitrogen oxides (NOX), particulate matter (PM), sulfur dioxide (SO2), dioxin and

furans, carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)

and unburned hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), heavy metals such as zinc oxide, lead, arsenic, chromium and mercury, also nickel, cadmium, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and others which are associated with incomplete combustion and tires´ chemical composition (Mesaros, 2007).

 Plastics

Plastics are common components of garbage used as fuel in informal brick kilns; and the most dangerous emissions can be caused by plastics containing organochlor-based substances like polyvinyl chloride (PVC) because harmful quantities of dioxins are emitted to the atmosphere (Belliveau, 2003; WECF, 2008).

Other pollutants which are released from burning plastic waste are mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)3, dioxins, and furans. All of which persist for long periods of time in the environment and have a tendency to bio-accumulate in organisms of the food chain (WECF, 2008).

 Used oil

Emissions from burning used or waste oils reflect the compositional variations of them; potential pollutants like carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOX), particulate matter

(PM), particles less than 10 micrometers in size (PM10), toxic metals, organic compounds (Benzene,

toluene, polychlorinated biphenyls, polychlorinated, and others hazardous compounds), hydrogen chloride and greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) are included in used oil

burning emissions (EPA, 1996).

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 Garbage

Solid waste includes paper, metal, yard trimmings, plastics, old shoes, and clothes among other materials. This means combined sources of contaminants which contribute to atmospheric pollution by the harmful emissions of all kinds of pollutants mentioned above.

As with the other fuels, low burning of solid waste can result in products of incomplete combustion like particulate emissions, heavy metal vapors, acid gases and carcinogenic tars, as well as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), carbon monoxide (CO), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), dioxins, arsenic and heavy metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium and chromium (McCoy and Garthe, et al., n.d.).

2.1.2. Impacts on air, soil and biodiversity, water, human

All fuels used in informal brick production can cause polluting emissions to the environment and living organisms, some are less dangerous or lethal than others, which is why it is important to gain knowledge of their impacts and regulate their use.

The list of effects on different elements of the ecosystems is immense. In this part of the research some effects are resumed:

 Air

During their firing informal brick kilns are supplied with fuels in order to keep a constant temperature, this activity and the reactions of the combustion generate the emission of pollutants like those mentioned above and are transmitted into the air.

By air movement pollutants are being transported and incorporated into other elements of ecosystems like rivers, streams, water bodies, groundwater, wells, soil, biotic elements, etc. and eventually can become part of the food chain, affecting humans and their food resources, but in general biodiversity also can be affected.

The most important aspect about pollutants released into the air in the case of greenhouse gases are the effects of global warming and climate change by the accumulation of large quantities in water vapor (H2O), CO2, CH4, CO, N2O, NOX, O3 and NO gas emissions to the atmosphere from natural

sources and anthropogenic (caused by humans) activities.

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There are other kinds of human made greenhouse gases such as halocarbons among others which contain chlorine and bromine substances, and non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC´s) and manufactured aerosols such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFC´s) (Alam, 2006).

In the case of chemical and toxic substance emissions into the air, NOx contribute to environmental

problems like acid rain which reacts in the air to ozone (O3) and forms smog and haze.

Particular matter (PM) is a pollutant which “(…) acts as a magnet for unburned toxic materials such as metal vapors including mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium, chromium and products of incomplete combustion (PICs) (…)” (Mesaros, 2007: 54). Particular matter attaches to these toxic materials and emits them into the air.

Sulfur dioxide (SOx) contributes to acid rain and small particulate formation (PM 2.5µ) which have

negative effects on human health and plants.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) (naphthalene); voltaic organic compounds (VOCs) (benzene); criteria pollutants (CP) (carbon monoxide, lead, arsenic, chromium and mercury) are toxic emissions which are known to be cancer causing and can cause damages to the human reproductive functions (Mesaros, 2007).

Other toxic emissions related with incomplete combustion include nickel, cadmium, xylem, formaldehyde, and acetaldehyde among others which have unknown toxic effects on human health and the ecosystem.

According to the Australian Department of the Environment and Heritage (quoted by Mesaros, 2007) carbon monoxide (CO) increases methane and other greenhouse gases and oxidizes later into carbon dioxide gas.

In the case of carbon dioxide (CO2) the environmental effect is global warming, even though much of

this gas is absorbed by plants and by the ocean surface large amounts go into the atmosphere.

 Soil and Biodiversity

When ozone produced by the reaction of NOX with oxygen eventually forms nitric acid by its

dissolution in water, this acid rain can damage trees and entire forest ecosystems.

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Wood and coal used as fuel can cause among other aspects: deforestation, landslides, soil degradation and biodiversity losses; also the constant use of primary material as soil for brick making causes losses of agricultural land.

 Water

NOx contribute to acidification and eutrophication of water bodies, and the buildup of nutrients in

coastal areas, degrading water quality and harming aquatic life (Mesaros, 2007).

 Humans

Pollutants emitted by brick kiln combustions cause several health damages to humans, to those who works in the brick production as well as to the general population.

Chemicals such as nitrogen oxides (NOX) cause several human health problems like aggravation of

asthmatic conditions, lung irritation, lowered resistance to respiratory infections, cardiac diseases and premature mortality from acute exposure among others (Mesaros, 2007).

Some health effects associated with particular matter (PM) are premature death due to heart and lung diseases, non-fatal heart attacks and respiratory symptoms such as coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath, changes in lung function, changes in heart rate, irregular heartbeat (Mesaros, 2007).

Sulfur dioxide (SOX) affects human health causing respiratory and cardiac diseases as well as

respiratory symptoms. Dioxin and dioxin-likes such as furan (polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)) emissions can cause cancer (breast cancer, bioaccumulation of chlorinated compounds in the food chain). Some forms of dioxin are the most carcinogenic (cancer causing) substances known to science (Mesaros, 2007).

Dioxins levels can be reduced by the human metabolism and decompose within the body. Pregnant women and nursing mothers pass on dioxins to their babies (Mesaros, 2007). Other health effects caused by dioxins include”(…) hormonal disruption, decreased sperm count, descensus testis, altered male sexual behavior, cancer, endometriosis, ovarian dysfunction, reduced fertility, immune system suppression, spontaneous abortion, birth defects, impaired child development, thyroid changes and diabetes” (Mesaros, 2007: 66).

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can cause asphyxiation as it replaces oxygen in human blood; other effects are headache, loss of judgment, dizziness, drowsiness, and rapid breathing.

The effects which occur after long-term exposure to lead are decreased performance of the nervous system, weakness of fingers, wrists, and/or ankles in the case of adults and children, anemia and small increase in blood pressure to the middle-aged and elderly. When exposure is in high levels it can cause severe brain and kidney damage and may result in death. Children exposed to even low levels of lead can show slow mental development and lower intelligence (Mesaros, 2007).

2.2.

Socio-economic review of traditional brick making industry

The literature review about socio-economic conditions of traditional brick producers shows that there are limited publications on this topic; nevertheless there exist some general observations on the socio-economic circumstances of brick producers and a few detailed studies. This chapter gives a review in two parts about the socio-economical conditions of the traditional brick making industry in developing countries and especially in Mexico. The first part is about the general socio-economical circumstances of brick making households. And the second part addresses child labor in traditional brick industries.

The socio-economic conditions explain the lack of modernization of the brick making process (used technologies) and help identify applicable technologies in order to formulate policies for the promotion of these technologies.

2.2.1. Socio-economic conditions of traditional brick making industry in developing countries

Traditional brick making is an extremely labor intensive, low technology activity, generally small-scale and lowly paid (less than the minimum wage). For instance in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico an average kiln has a capacity of approximately 10,000 bricks, employs six workers, and generates profits ranging around 100 USD per month (FEMAP quoted in Blackman & Bannister 1998). Socio-economic conditions are poor, associated with the poorest sectors of communities under an economic informal scheme and its development functions (Romo Aguilar et al., 2004).

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Aguilar et al., 2004) and in many cases brick produces have a migrant background, coming from rural areas to cities like Ciudad Juarez and Punjab, India (Romo Aguilar et al., 2004; Singh Kainth, 2008). Often the whole family is involved in the brick making process. Women and children may take part in all of the main or subsidiary production steps, although they seldom mold bricks until attaining a certain minimum skill level (Wilson, 2005). A study of traditional brick producers in Peru shows that the father of the family is in charge of mixing raw materials and molding crude bricks. He is also firing the kiln, while the mother helps mixing raw materials and turns crude bricks during the drying process, and the children of the family assist by flipping crude bricks during the drying process and by loading of the crude/dried bricks into the kiln (PRAL & Ministerio de la Producción, 2008).

Many brick kiln owners do not conduct other activities, but sometimes they combine the brick making activity mainly with agricultural activities during the rainy season when brick production decreases (Wilson, 2005; PRAL & Ministerio de la Producción, 2008).

According to Romo Aguilar et al. (2004) the study in Ciudad Juarez shows that the traditional brick producers have a clear awareness on the position of the authorities in reference to produced emissions into the atmosphere by brick kilns and the change of land use plans of the municipality. Different strategies have been implemented: traditional brick producers have been grouped together or joined organizations or formed cooperatives (Table 2.2.1). They have appointed leaders in order to establish their priorities and to manage their problems with the various governmental and nongovernmental organizations (Romo Aguilar et al., 2004).

Table 2.2.1: Number of brick kilns and organized brick producers: Ciudad Juarez, Saltillo, Torreon and Durango

Cd. Juarez Saltillo Zacatecas Torreon Durango

Approximate number

of kilns 325

c

500a 60a 165a 504b

Organized yes a, c yes c no a yes a yes b

Source: a. Blackman, 2000; b. Hernández Camargo, 2003; c. Romo Aguilar et al., 2004

The review of different studies of the traditional brick producers realized in Mexico (Romo Aguilar et al., 2004, Blackman, 2006) show some patterns which allow categorizing their type of engagement

(social categorization): a. Family business

b. Worker indirectly involved in brick making mostly loading and unloading of bricks or firing kilns

c. Temporary brick producer or "miler" who is hired by the operator (owner or person renting a kiln)

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e. Intermediary, who buys bricks to transport them in order to resell them at established selling points or construction sites

All these categories are presented in the traditional brick industry regardless of age, sex, or social position and continue from the extraction of raw materials to the marketing of the final product.

2.2.2. Child Labor

Child labor is both consequence and cause of poverty. Children who are incorporated in child labor are likely to come from families affected by poverty. Recent findings show that engaging children in child labor is a household decision to fight poverty (UCW, 2006; WVC, 2006, Bunnak, 2007). Exhaustion to live and work, illiteracy, disease and malnutrition, psychological damage, and premature aging are some of the consequences of child labor (WVC, 2006).

High child occupancy in informal brick production and other informal sectors has been verified in different Latin American countries (Table 2.2.2). The table shows the worst forms of child labor. The risks and physical damage caused by the exploitation of children mentioned in the table are: toxic inhalations, burns, partial hearing loss, mutilation, pulmonary disorders, allergic skin disorders, and damaged bone structures due to carrying heavy loads (Varillas, 2003:926).

Table 2.2.2: Child labor of high risks identified by IPEC per country

Argentina brick industry, markets, leather tanneries, agriculture, manufacturing ice cream Bolivia mining, sugar production, construction, street seller, agriculture

Brazil charcoal production, quarries, preparation of sisal, scavengers Chile mining, agriculture, street seller

Colombia brick industry, mining, agriculture

Costa Rica domestic services, construction, prostitution, bananas, maquiladoras, seafood processing

Ecuador floriculture, street sellers, construction

El Salvador maquiladoras, pyrotechnics, construction, coffee production, prostitution, street sellers, scavenger

Guatemala coffee production, mining, pyrotechnics, domestic work, maquiladoras, construction, transportation, scavengers

Honduras leather tannery, bakery, maquiladoras, construction, military, pharmaceutical industry, chemical industry

Mexico brick industry, cafes and bars, mechanical workshop, agriculture Nicaragua coffee, bananas, rice, cotton, livestock, street sellers

Panama street sellers, domestic service, sugar cane, transportation Paraguay street sellers, domestic services

Peru brick industry, gold panning, stone cutters, slaughterhouses, construction, , processing coca leaf, pyrotechnics, waste, mining

Dominican Republic

agriculture, domestic service, waste, prostitution

Source: Varillas, 2003: 927

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and do not attend schools. For instance in Mexico 41.5% of child laborers between 5-17 years old, do not attend school (INEGI, 2008).

In 2008 INEGI reported that almost a third (29%) of child laborers age 5 to 17 are working in activities related to the agricultural sector. 25 % are involved in trade and selling, 24% are engaged in services, around 14% are employed in the manufacturing sector and 6% work in constructions (Figure 2.2.1) (INEGI, 2008).

Figure 2.2.1: Distribution of child labor according to sector and sex, 2007

Source: INEGI, 2008

Of the 24% of children who work in manufacturing an unidentified number of child laborers are engaged in the manufacturing brick industries which is among the worst forms of child labor in Mexico (Ramírez quoted in Muñoz Rios, 2009). Children, especially but not exclusively male children, from an early age are involved in carrying water, screening sand and manure, and setting up the bricks, smoothing their edges, and carrying them to the kiln. It is often expected that sons will become brick producers when grown up as well. Therefore they are slowly trained to work in the more skill requiring steps. If the household sex ratio is such that a daughter’s work also becomes necessary for family survival or economic advancement they are trained, too (Wilson, 2005). Many brick producers perceive child labor as ‘training on the job’ which helps the family economically and assures a future occupation for the children.

913230 144833 1058063 298379 219015 517394 215981 1503 217484 478846 444574 923420 484414

380577 864991 50220 15495 65.715

0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%

Boys Girls Total

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2.3.

Alternatives for traditional brick making industry

There are several approaches dealing with risks to humans and the environment caused by the traditional brick making industry. This chapter presents in three parts some approaches which have been implemented in different developing countries: 1. Cleaner Production, 2. Relocation and 3. Opportunities for organizations of traditional brick industries.

2.3.1. Cleaner Production (CP) and traditional brick making

Cleaner Production (CP) is a prevention business strategy (method) which was originally designed to help manufacturing companies. Meanwhile it is also applied in several other important sectors to conserve resources, mitigate risks to humans and the environment, and promote greater overall efficiency through improved production techniques and technologies (USAID, 2009). More precisely, it is generally defined as "the continuous application of an integrated preventive environmental strategy to processes, products, and services to increase eco efficiency and reduce risks to humans and the environment"(UNEP, 1994)4.

Cleaner Production (CP) means to optimize processes in order to make more efficient use of natural resources (raw materials, water, and energy in form of heat generated by burning fuels) and reduce the generation of wastes and emissions at the source (Fresner et al., 2009). In addition it provides opportunities to significantly reduce operating costs and improve product quality.

CP begins with a comprehensive look at the material and energy flow5 in a company (Thorpe, 1999), to identify options of more efficient use of materials, energy, water and other natural resources and to minimize waste and emissions of the business processes (processing, manufacturing, service, transport, mining or agriculture). Organizational and technological improvements effectuate reduction or suggestions in use of materials and energy, to avoid waste, waste water generation, and gaseous emissions, and also waste heat and noise. Cleaner production methods may include:

1. Good housekeeping refers to changes in operational procedures and management in order to reduce waste and emission generation. It includes spill prevention, improved instruction of workers through training.

2. Product modifications change the product characteristics, such as shape and material composition. The lifetime of the new product is, for instance, extended, the product is easier to repair, or the manufacturing of the product is less polluting.

4CP is promoted around the world by the United Nations, which supports hundreds of programs and projects

on sustainable business. The UN has produced a Status Report on CP implementation worldwide, with extensive details: http://www.uneptie.org/scp/.

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3. Input substitution refers to the use of less polluting raw and adjunct materials and the use of process auxiliaries (such as lubricants and coolants) with a longer service lifetime.

4. Technology modifications include for instance improved process automation, process optimization, equipment redesign and process substitution.

5. On-site recycling refers to the useful application of waste materials or pollutants in the company where these have been generated. This could take place through re-use as raw material, recovery of materials or other useful applications.

The promotion of Cleaner Production approaches has not been widely attempted among traditional brick producers (Hillary, 2000). Nevertheless there have already been some Cleaner Production efforts among brick producers in India (Hamner, 2006); and researchers have made some useful suggestions how to improve the combustion efficiency of existing kilns, and upgrading kilns to newer and more efficient process designs. The Table 2.3.1 lists several low-cost solutions to reduce waste and pollution in brick making.

Table 2.3.1: Solutions to increase efficiency and reduce waste in brick production

Good

housekeeping

Improve brick drying before firing Fuel drying before firing

Raise kiln temperature using improved firing techniques. Stack fuel around bricks to facilitate preheating

Work regulations or safety measures

Product modifications

Quality improvement, quality control of bricks

Input substitution Switch to propane or natural gas as fuel

Use of alternative fuel types

Technology modifications

Maintain kiln structure and repair cracks or leaks Improve air flow control

Traditional brick-making technology (brick clamps) Install filters in chimneys (rather difficult)

New kiln design (some kilns apply on-site recycling) Mechanization of process

Source: GATE, 1995; Mason, 1998a; Hamner, 2006;Mason, 2009;USAID, 2009

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2.3.1.1. Good housekeeping

In the context of the traditional brick making operational techniques and safety regulations were determined for the good housekeeping method. The measures shown in the Table 2.3.2 help save fuel which leads to emission reduction as the total amount of fuel burned is reduced.

Table 2.3.2: CP – Method: Good housekeeping Improve brick drying

before firing

Extended drying time reduces fuel requirements because less energy is used to evaporate the bricks’ water content.

Fuel should be dry As with the bricks themselves, if the fuel contains water, then energy is wasted to evaporate it. If using fuel wood, it should be dry and seasoned. Raise kiln

temperature using improved firing techniques

Adding combustible material around the bricks or between clamps can increase temperatures and lower traditional fuel needs.

A firing chamber beneath the ground level is more efficient than above the ground level to raise the kiln temperature.

Stack fuel around bricks to facilitate preheating

Solid fuel is mixed with the bricks throughout the kiln, either as sawdust mixed into the brick mass or as fuel channels in different levels of the kiln. By doing this, a combustion zone can be generated in the kiln that gradually moves upwards, using the residual heat in the lower, already burnt bricks for preheating of combustion air. The residual heat in the flue gasses is used for drying and preheating of the higher levels of crude bricks.

Work regulations or safety measures

Prepare a safety and health plan to minimize adverse respiratory effects and physical stress on kiln workers.

Source: GATE, 1995; Hamner, 2006; Mason, 2009; USAID, 2009

The first two methods (dry bricks and dry fuels) avoid energy waste; this means that if the crude bricks and fuels contain a lot of water when placed in the kiln, energy and money is wasted just to dry them (evaporate the moisture content) during the firing process. Drying the input (crude bricks and fuels) saves energy and money, since the burning process needs less time if the moisture content of the input is less (GATE, 1995; Mason, 2009).

The following two techniques (fuel closer to the bricks and fuel in the clay mix) raise the energy efficiency, given that if a brick is a long way from the heat source (e.g. burning fuel in a firing chamber beneath the piled bricks ) the burning process needs more time to burn the bricks. Incorporating, for example, coal dust or saw dust into the body of bricks and distributing the fuel more evenly throughout the kiln are established techniques. Obviously, the fuel chosen should be fine enough to not cause large voids in the brick surface (USAID, 2009; Mason, 2009).

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2.3.1.2. Product modification

The product modification towards more sustainable construction by promoting the use of alternative, low-energy or renewable materials, such as earth6 or bamboo unfortunately is largely prevented by a combination of factors: e.g. lack of governmental promotion/subsidies for sustainable construction materials, predominant status of concrete and cement industries, increasing urbanization, bad perception of sustainable construction materials such as adobe (construction material of the poor), and inappropriate building standards which are generating an increasing demand of conventional materials such as steel, bricks and cement which are all based on highly energy intensive production processes (Schilderman, 1999).

Table 2.3.3: CP – Method: Product modification

Quality upgrade Use less fuel. Try to avoid hot-spots by distributing fuel differently. Quality control Technical standards, laboratory testing.

Source: Mason, 1998a

Most of the product modifications address following brick characteristics: size, shape, strength/soundness, porosity, insulation performance, and appearance. A detailed product modification guide for brick producers is annexed. Changes in the shape and size of bricks produced by the traditional brick making industry in Peru have led to new products which require less raw materials, fuels, and in addition the products have a higher quality in terms of endurance and thermal insulation (Table 2.3.4).

Table 2.3.4: CO2 emitted by burning of bricks (m2) Traditional kiln using wood and sawdust (Cusco)

Solid brick Thick hollow brick wall Thin brick wall block type

Weight 2.5 kg Weight 2.5 kg Weight 2.5 kg Dimension 24x11x7 cm Dimension 24x11x8 cm Dimension 30x15x20 cm Bricks per m2

44

Bricks per m2 40

Bricks per m2 20 CO2 per m2

132 kg

CO2 per m2 100 kg

CO2 per m2 50 kg Source: Bickel, 2010

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Nevertheless quality upgrading of the bricks are not recommended if customers aren't prepared to pay more for improved quality, since it causes extra work and expenses for the brick producers. Nevertheless brick producers profit if they know how to improve the quality of their product, particularly brick producers who are unable to meet the standard their market demands (Mason, 1998a).

2.3.1.3. Input substitution

The input substitution refers to replacing primary fuel with cleaner-burning fuels and /or cost-effective fuels.

Table 2.3.5: CP – Method: Input substitution Switch to propane or

natural gas as fuel

If available and competitively priced, these fuels cause significantly less emissions and can increase production quality and speed due to their high calorific value..

Use of alternative fuel types

Organic wastes such as rice husks or sugar bagasse can supplement scarce fuel sources, such as wood without sacrificing efficiency.

Source: GATE, 1995; Hamner, 2006;Mason, 2009;USAID, 2009

Fuels, such as natural gas or propane or liquefied petroleum gas (LP gas) potentially could help reduce emissions. However, experiences in Mexico with these fuels show that they are less effective to reduce emissions than other approaches. The main deterrent is the elevated cost that generally prices these fuels out of the reach of brick producers (Blackman, 1998). Improved combustion efficiency with cheap fuels is the most practical solution to reduce emissions (TCEQ, 2002).

Some brick producers are already using residues, but not every residue is adequate7 such fuels are used oils8 and scrap tires, which may not fully combust in the brick kiln due to the fact that temperatures reached in traditional kilns are not high enough. Residues which retain a high calorific value and are cheap are recommended considering the emission factor of the material.

For instance in the Andean and coastal region of Peru traditional brick producers used exclusively wood to fire their brick kilns (up to 8 tons of wood per kiln, depending on kiln size). Nowadays various brick producers have changed to other fuels such as mined coal, oil, and rice husks, which are usually more cost effective (around 30% benefit) and supplement the scarcity of wood of the region

7According to Johnson et al. [1994], tests of emissions from traditional brick kilns burning five different fuels –

sawdust, contaminated sawdust, used motor oil, propane (old burner), and propane (new burner) – showed the two "least desirable" fuels to be used are motor oil and contaminated sawdust. Kilns burning these fuels emitted relatively high levels of volatile organic compounds and carbon monoxide (Blackman & Bannister, 1996).

8

The emissions from burning waste oils reflect the compositional variations of the waste oils. Potential pollutants include carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur oxides (SOX), nitrogen oxides (NOX), particulate matter (PM),

particles less than 10 micrometers in size (PM10), toxic metals, organic compounds, hydrogen chloride, and

Figure

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