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Experts Appeal for Fewer Fireworks
   2015-02-17 20:58:18    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Shi

Sanitation workers clean the firecracker residue on a street in Beijing on Jan. 23, 2012. A large amount of firecrackers have been set off on the eve before Spring Festival as a Chinese folk tradition. [Photo: NEWS.CN]

Chinese people traditionally light firecrackers and fireworks during Spring Festival, which falls on Thursday, hoping the noise will drive away evil spirits and bad luck. However, with regular bouts of smog hitting China in recent years, fireworks have drawn public and official attention because of the combustibles' contribution to air pollution.

CRI's Niu Honglin has more.

 

Experts have recently appealed to the public to use fewer fireworks to celebrate the lunar New Year, saying heavy usage could cause three days of severe pollution. Weather conditions in the forecast are said to be less-than ideal for the dispersal of fireworks-related pollution.

Li Yunting is the director in charge of air quality at the Beijing Environmental Monitoring Center.

"Fireworks will generate a huge amount of pollution in a short time, increasing the density of sulfur dioxide and PM2.5, the major airborne pollutants. After that short period of time, diffusion conditions largely determine the severity and duration of the air pollution caused by the fireworks."

If the fireworks are set off in huge volume, as they were last year, air pollution at hazardous levels will last five to six hours longer compared to last year. Li adds that the weather from Wednesday to Friday is expected to be windless, which means pollutants will linger in the city.

Fireworks remain popular among Chinese citizens, despite pollution problems in major cities. But many people are heeding the message from the authorities and choosing to cut back on fireworks to celebrate the holiday.

"Fireworks may cause pollution, so I decided to set off only a few this year."

"I didn't buy any fireworks or firecrackers. Actually, this is what I do every year. The air pollution is too serious."

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Environmental Protection required provinces and regions to implement fireworks restrictions, expanding forbidden areas and extending forbidden times, especially when severe air pollution covering cities. In response, cities have made more stringent efforts to reduce the pollutants that come from fireworks.

For CRI, I'm Niu Honglin.

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