Reports from the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) have indicated that fireworks and adverse weather conditions intensified the air pollution in China during the Lunar New Year’s Eve. An official from the Ministry said that from the 2016 Lunar New Year’s Eve until New Year’s day, among the 338 cities that implemented the new air quality standards, 67 cities had good air quality. The remaining 271 cities were below par. Of these, 92 were reported to be heavily polluted.
Heavy air pollution is distributed mainly along the Yangtze River, in Beijing and the surrounding areas, the Northeast region, the Sichuan Basin, and the North China Plain. The primary pollutants, except for PM10 in a few cities, are PM2.5. The number of heavily polluted cities increased by 54 in comparison with last year. The average concentrations of PM2.5 and PM10 were 148 and 210 micrograms/cubic meter respectively, an increase of 27.6 percent and 23.5 percent each from last year. [Editors note: PM2.5 is particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less.]
Source: Xinhua News, February 8, 2016