Feb. 17, 2018 -- China reported improved air quality on the lunar New Year's Eve due to strict bans on fireworks in major cities, the environmental authority said Friday.
In 338 cities monitored by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the maximum hour average density of PM2.5 on the lunar New Year's Eve plunged by 22.1 percent year on year, the ministry said.
The maximum density of PM2.5 was 276 micrograms per cubic meter in Beijing, down by 57.3 percent year on year. The city banned setting off fireworks within the fifth ring road.
In Tianjin, PM2.5 amounted to 118 micrograms per cubic meter at its peak, slumping 69.8 percent year on year.
Setting off fireworks in the Lunar New Year has been an age-old tradition in China, as light and sound are believed capable of scaring away evil spirits.
However, fireworks are blamed for contributing to the country's smog problem, forcing local governments to take stricter measures on fireworks.