Air in Hebei cleaneralex and ani bonnaroo bracelet in 2017
North China"s Hebei province is breathing cleaner air after consistent efforts in curbing pollution.
The average density of PM2.5 in the province was 65 micrograms per cubic meter last year, 7.1 percent less than in 2016 and 39.8 percent less than in 2013, Gao Jianmin, director of the Hebei Environmental Protection Bureau, said at a news conference Friday in Hebei"s provincial capital Shijiazhuang.
The PM2.5 data is a gauge monitoring airborne particles of 2.5 microns or less in diameter, which can embed deep in people"s lungs, according to Xinhua News Agency.
The province is one of the areas in the country that was badly hit by air pollution in recent years.
In response, Hebei has taken numerous measures to reduce pollutants, including upgrading industrial structures, shutting down polluting factories, phasing out vehicles with high emissions, controlling coal consumption and installing environmentally protective facilities.
With theses efforts, the province saw 202 good air days in 2017, accounting for 55.3 percent of all days throughout the year and 73 days more than in 2013. The number of heavy pollution days decreased to 29, compared with 51 days in 2013, he said.
The density per cubic meter of air of four major pollutants also dropped to 27 micrograms of sulfur dioxide, 47 mcg of nitrogen dioxide, 117 mcg of PM10 and 1.3 mcg of nitric oxide; that’s a decrease of 18.2 percent for sulfur dioxide, 4.1 percent for nitrogen dioxide, 4.9 percent for PM10 and 7.1 percent for nitric oxide compared with 2016, Gao said.
"In the winter of 2016, I barely remembered a day with blue sky, but this winter, the blue sky appears almost every day," said Wei Rujie, a Shijiazhuang resident, adding that complaints about smog among local residents like him are fewer than before.
Yang Kang, general manager of a furniture producer in Shijiazhuang, said his company spent millions of yuan last year replacing coal-fired boilers with gas equipment as a response to the call and demand for reducing industrial pollutants.
"The cost is very big for small companies like mine. Besides, when alerts come for days with bad air, we must suspend operations, which will also cause losses," Yang said.
"However, it"s a good thing that all the efforts and investments have yielded good results and my family is breathing better air," he said.
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