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January 22, 2014

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Call for complete ban on fireworks

FIREWORKS should be banned completely across Shanghai in order to reduce air pollution, a local lawmaker urged yesterday.

High concentrations of pollutants from fireworks on occasions like the forthcoming Spring Festival increase the density of fine particles, lawmaker Li Furong told the annual session of the Shanghai People’s Congress yesterday.

PM2.5 fine particles are especially harmful to health as they can travel deep within the respiratory system.

“The city’s air will be filled with smoke during the Spring Festival,” Li said.

Currently, Shanghai will only ban fireworks on days deemed seriously polluted under the city’s new air pollution alarm system, said Zhang Quan, director with the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau.

Meanwhile, the city fire department also destroys illegal fireworks, said lawmaker Li Ming.

Though Shanghai has no plans to ban fireworks, the authorities have taken steps to reduce their use.

Some 400 firework stalls have been closed and firework-free areas have been expanded downtown.



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