China is banning brick and tiles made in smoky coal-fired kilns,
ending a 2,000-year-old tradition in an effort to cut smog and save
farmland mined for clay. The ban on the rough red-and-tan bricks and
roof tiles will take effect in cities next June and throughout the
country by July 2003, the official Xinhua News Agency said recently.
It will outlaw a style of brick-making that dates to the Han dynasty
in the second century B.C. China later exported better-quality glazed
tiles as far away as the Roman Empire. Construction of rural brick
kilns over the past decade consumed more than 750,000 acres of
farmland, Xinhua said. It said construction officials are trying to
encourage builders to shift in part to using brick made of ash from
power plants in cleaner kilns.
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