Chinese calls for canceling of fireworks

Jan. 31, 2013 at 8:17 AM

BEIJING, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Residents of Beijing say they want fireworks outlawed during the Spring Festival, which begins Feb. 10, due to the heavy smog.

China Daily said there are 8 million messages on Sina Weibo, a blogging platform, discussing whether people should set off fireworks.

The Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau said added pollution from fireworks during the 2011 Spring Festival lingered for a month.

China Daily said the office in charge of the fireworks industry said all residents of the city are allowed to set off fireworks, but officials hope they will refrain from doing so.

The National Meteorological Center said areas in central and eastern China had more than 20 hazy days, with Beijing only experiencing five days without haze.

Xinhua said the smog lifted slightly Thursday in Beijing but the air quality index still indicates serious pollution.

The Beijing municipal government decided Tuesday to suspend the use of 30 percent of the government's vehicles and stop work at 103 heavily polluting companies.

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