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Last Updated: Friday, 15 February 2008, 13:46 GMT
Beijing petrol stations to close
The Temple of Heaven in Beijing
Beijing is taking measures to improve air quality
China is closing 10% of Beijing's petrol stations to improve air quality ahead of the Olympics in August.

By the end of May, 144 will shut because they are not expected to meet higher environmental standards, according to state media.

The remainder are to be fitted with devices to reduce the level of fumes which escape when vehicles fill up.

It is part of a big drive to clean up the city - one of the world's most polluted - as August approaches.

Olympic concerns

More than 1,000 filling stations in the city will have new nozzles installed at the pumps to collect the fumes. The vapours will then be stored in tanks for re-use.

The cost of the upgrade is expected to run to more than $70,000 (35,000) for each petrol station. Several oil depots are also being closed.

Air quality in Beijing is a major worry for organisers of the Olympics.

The President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, has warned that some events could be postponed if pollution levels rise too far.

Many cars are expected to be ordered off the road during the games and the authorities have started closing down factories.

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