Strict fireworks bans in Beijing and the neighbouring Tianjin Municipality have helped rein in air pollution this year, environmental authorities said.
Fireworks are a major part of Lunar New Year festivities in China, but the local governments have restricted the use of fireworks due to safety concerns and their effect on air pollution.
Beijing has banned fireworks within the Fifth Ring Road and also densely populations areas on the northern outskirts. Tianjin does not allow fireworks within the outer ring area. Both cities still allow fireworks in suburban districts.
On Feb. 15, the Lunar New Year's Eve, seven people were injured by fireworks in Beijing, down by 42 percent compared with the last year and fireworks caused 12 fires, down 52 percent from 2016. PM2.5 density dropped 52.8 percent year on year, according to government agency figures.
Compared with last year, the PM2.5 density in Tianjin on the Lunar New Year's Eve dropped 54.2 percent, according to data from the municipal bureau of environmental protection.
"The air quality is markedly better in areas where the ban is being enforced, but in the outer suburban areas, pollution has increased," said Deng Xiaowen, director of the Tianjin environmental monitoring center.