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NGOs: Residents should set off fewer fireworks

By Zheng Xin (China Daily)

08:15, January 21, 2012

Residents buy fireworks at a store in Guangshun North Road in Beijing on Friday. (China Daily Photo)

BEIJING - As the quality of the city's air continues to give rise to concerns, many NGOs are asking the public to refrain from shooting off fireworks during the coming Spring Festival.

Feng Yongfeng, founder of an environmental protection NGO in the city, encouraged residents to set off fewer fireworks. He said they should take the money they would have spent on pyrotechnics and instead use it to buy the city a PM 2.5 detector - a device that measures the amount of particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrograms that is in the air.

Ma Jun, director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, called for the public to replace large fireworks with some that are small and give off less pollution.

"Large fireworks contain too much gunpowder," Ma said. "When they explode, they give off too much noise and pollution, especially in crowded cities such as Beijing."

The Beijing administration of work safety said the city this year will have 1,429 firework retail outlets, 20 percent fewer than last year.

During the holiday, emergency medical workers in Beijing will be prepared to monitor the use of fireworks in the city and three helicopters will also be looking for mishaps.

Since 2005, the capital's government has loosened the restrictions it places on the use of fireworks in the capital in the Spring Festival holiday. Even so, firework sellers are not likely to be awash with money this year.

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