08/02/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Beijing Says Traffic Measures Cut Emissions By 20%

An official at the capital's environmental regulator has shrugged off the notion of wearing masks in Beijing for fear of poor air quality, saying masks would simply "add weight to visitors' luggage."

Du Shaozhong, deputy director with the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau, told a press conference here on Friday that major air pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and particulate matter from vehicles have dropped by 20 percent in Beijing year-on-year, thanks to vehicle restrictions for the Olympics.

He said 22 of the first 25 days in July were "blue sky" days, or days with fairly good air quality.

"It's just a beginning, but the improvement is fairly obvious," Du said.

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