More than 33 per cent of urban residents nationwide are dissatisfied with government efforts to curb vehicle exhaust emissions in recent years, a survey has found.
This percentage is the highest for all forms of air pollution on the mainland, which has witnessed rapid annual growth in the number of vehicles on the roads for many years.
The satisfaction rate for government efforts to curb vehicle exhaust emissions reached only 26 per cent.
The increase in vehicles in cities is thought to be the major reason behind the nation's poor air quality, the survey found.
This is followed by industrial waste discharges, dust caused by major industrial and real estate construction sites, and odours from polluted rivers, garbage dumps, landfills and incinerators.
"Government departments should make even greater efforts in the coming months to curb air pollution caused by vehicle exhaust emissions," said Liu Rongxin, director of the survey department at Canton Public Research Center, which conducted the survey.
"Compared with curbing air pollution caused by industrial and construction sites and the catering industry, curbing pollution from vehicle emissions is a longer-term and tougher task on the mainland," Liu said.
Wu Dui, a senior researcher at the Guangzhou Institute of Tropical Oceanic Meteorology, said more clean-energy sources, including gas and batteries, should be used as a substitute for gasoline to reduce vehicle emissions.
"The standards for these emissions should also be raised further to help reduce air pollution," Wu said.
The survey, which was published on Monday, interviewed more than 3,000 urban residents age 16 and above in 23 provinces and municipalities in May.
It also found that more urban residents had voiced satisfaction with government efforts to curb air pollution caused by waste discharges and dust from industrial and construction sites.
The satisfaction rate for curbing dust from these sites was 36 per cent, while the figure for curbing polluting gases discharged by the catering industry was 34 per cent.
The dissatisfaction rate for curbing pollution from waste discharges was 27 per cent and 26 per cent for pollution from industrial and construction sites.
The survey found that 34 per cent of urban residents thought that air quality had remained unchanged, while 17 per cent said air pollution had worsened even though great efforts had been made to curb mainland pollution in recent years.
Forty-eight per cent thought that air quality in urban areas had improved.
Huang Min contributed to this story.