By Erik Crouch
Image via Labmove
This New Year’s present? PM2.5! Shanghai, already the cancer-capital of China, saw its air pollution statistics take a plunge after Spring Festival Eve fireworks filled the city with particles and dust on February 9. According to the Shanghai Daily, the city’s PM2.5 rating jumped up to 523 during the firework’s peak, and then returned to its normal, smoggy self.
The Year of the Snake was one of China’s first to significantly use electronic fireworks—which are cleaner than traditional explosives—but as Xinhua reports:
Statistics from Taobao.com, China’s biggest e-commerce website, showed that the sales volume for electronic fireworks in the week before the festival went up by 271.3 percentcompared to the same period last year.
In the eyes of Shanghai sanitation worker Chen Daofu, however, the change was too trivial.
“From the trash, we can see that electronic fireworks are far from popular. The majority still favor traditional ones,” said Chen.
Conventional fireworks are, apparently, more exciting than their clean, electronic cousins. Nothing says “Lunar New Year” like a thick cloud of particulate matter blocking the moon!