A new round of air pollution may hit Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei and neighbouring areas in the coming two days due to unfavorable weather conditions and the lighting of fireworks, the Ministry of Environmental Protection warned on Thursday.
A cold front is expected to help disperse the pollution on Sunday.
Setting off fireworks and firecrackers, a Lunar New Year custom in China, has led to a surge in the density of PM2.5, airborne particles smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter, during the week-long holiday, the ministry said.
Of the 338 cities monitored by the ministry, 242 cities reported good air quality on Wednesday and Thursday, while 96 cities fell victim of the pollution.
Out of consideration to reduce pollution, Beijing authorities this year reduced the number of firework sales outlets by nearly 30 percent and halved the sales period to 10 days from 20.
Nationwide, 444 cities have banned setting off fireworks and 764 others imposed restrictions on lighting fireworks, according to the Ministry of Public Security.