Particulate matter immissions
"Particulate matter" (PM10) refers to particles less than 10 micrometres in diameter. These particles are formed during industrial and commercial production processes, combustion processes, mechanical processes (abrasion, whirling-up) and through secondary formation (from sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, ammonia, and volatile organic compounds). All emission sources such as transport, households, industry and agriculture contribute towards PM10 pollution, which causes disorders of the respiratory tract and cardiovascular system and increases the cancer risk and mortality rate.
The level of particulate matter (PM10) has decreased in recent years. Nevertheless, the annual and daily limits are still occasionally exceeded in cities and along heavily trafficked roads. In view of this situation, the status has to be classified as medium. Only at monitoring stations located above 1,000 metres are the measured levels of PM10 significantly below the limit. Levels of PM10 have been substantially reduced in the last 20 years, thanks to the adopted air pollution control measures. Since the levels of PM10 are attributable to a variety of sources and pollutants, only a comprehensive set of measures implemented at both the local and the international level can effectively reduce them. To that end, the Swiss Federal Council has adopted an action plan on particulate matter, which is designed to reduce emissions from all the principal sources. Possible measures include fitting particulate filters to diesel engines, and applying stricter emission limit levels to wood-fired heating systems.
The other countries of Europe also measure PM10 immissions and calculate corresponding indicators. The level of PM10 pollution in Switzerland is similar to those in its neighbouring countries. PM10 pollution is higher in major urban centres and heavily industrialised zone.
The current status and development of air pollution throughout Switzerland are measured and recorded by the National Air Pollution Monitoring Network (NABEL), which is jointly operated by the FOEN and EMPA (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology). It comprises 16 measurement stations distributed throughout the country, which provide data relating to all the most important pollution situations. For the assessment of PM10 immissions, data are collected from NABEL stations with permanent measurement cycles.
|Targeted trend||Initial value||Final value||Variation in %||Observed trend||Assessment|
|Decrease||Average 1991-1993||Average 2018-2020||(1) -67.48%, (2) -60.57%, (3) -58.50%, (4) -57.74%, (5) -56.85%||(1) Decrease, (2) Decrease, (3) Decrease, (4) Decrease, (5) Decrease||positive|
|(1) urban, heavy traffic, (2) urban, (3) suburban, (4) rural, (5) pre-alpine/Jura range|