Shanghai nixs fireworks in smog

( Xinhua ) Updated: 2014-01-29 00:02:37

SHANGHAI - More than 85 percent of Shanghai residents will not buy any fireworks for Spring Festival, according to the Shanghai Bureau of Statistics.

Fireworks, a Chinese New Year tradition, have been blamed for dust,  sulfur dioxide and serious regional air pollution.

Last year, the local PM2.5 readings, which measure particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers, increased five fold in seven hours on New Year's Eve in Shanghai.

According to a survey by the municipal statistics bureau, among permanent residents aged 15 and over, 81.1 percent of people support a complete ban on fireworks.

Only 13.5 percent of the people interviewed plan to buy or have already bought fireworks. Nearly 80 percent would give up fireworks to improve air quality.

Stalls in Chinese cities are required to obtain permits to sell fireworks and are allowed to open only one or two weeks before lunar New Year, which falls on January 31 this year.

Fireworks stalls have seen underwhelming sales as public concern about air pollution has dented demand.

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