Indicator air

Nitrogen dioxide immissions

The term "nitrogen oxides" (NOx) embraces nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and nitrogen monoxide (NO). Nitrogen oxides form in the combustion of motor and heating fuels, especially when combustion is at high temperatures. Road transport is the main source. They are an important precursor in the formation of acid rain, secondary particulate matter and - in combination with volatile organic compounds - photo-oxidants (ozone/summer smog). Along with ammonia they form particulate matter and contribute to the over-fertilisation of ecosystems. Nitrogen dioxide and other irritant gases are also a causal factor in diseases of the respiratory tract. Children are particularly susceptible.

Assessment of the state
poor poor
Assessment of the trend
positive positive
Immission limit value 2018: 30 Immission limit value 2017: 30 Immission limit value 2016: 30 Immission limit value 2015: 30 Immission limit value 2014: 30 Immission limit value 2013: 30 Immission limit value 2012: 30 Immission limit value 2011: 30 Immission limit value 2010: 30 Immission limit value 2009: 30 Immission limit value 2008: 30 Immission limit value 2007: 30 Immission limit value 2006: 30 Immission limit value 2005: 30 Immission limit value 2004: 30 Immission limit value 2003: 30 Immission limit value 2002: 30 Immission limit value 2001: 30 Immission limit value 2000: 30 Immission limit value 1999: 30 Immission limit value 1998: 30 Immission limit value 1997: 30 Immission limit value 1996: 30 Immission limit value 1995: 30 Immission limit value 1994: 30 Immission limit value 1993: 30 Immission limit value 1992: 30 Immission limit value 1991: 30 pre-alpine/Jura range 2018: 5.961 pre-alpine/Jura range 2017: 5.201 pre-alpine/Jura range 2016: 5.5 pre-alpine/Jura range 2015: 5.975 pre-alpine/Jura range 2014: 5.783 pre-alpine/Jura range 2013: 6.9745 pre-alpine/Jura range 2012: 6.213 pre-alpine/Jura range 2011: 6.695 pre-alpine/Jura range 2010: 7.48 pre-alpine/Jura range 2009: 6.385 pre-alpine/Jura range 2008: 6.32 pre-alpine/Jura range 2007: 6.73 pre-alpine/Jura range 2006: 7.065 pre-alpine/Jura range 2005: 7.075 pre-alpine/Jura range 2004: 6.61 pre-alpine/Jura range 2003: 8.355 pre-alpine/Jura range 2002: 8.285 pre-alpine/Jura range 2001: 8.61 pre-alpine/Jura range 2000: 7.795 pre-alpine/Jura range 1999: 8.185 pre-alpine/Jura range 1998: 7.735 pre-alpine/Jura range 1997: 9.285 pre-alpine/Jura range 1996: 10.775 pre-alpine/Jura range 1995: 7.5 pre-alpine/Jura range 1994: 7.545 pre-alpine/Jura range 1993: 7.55 pre-alpine/Jura range 1992: 9.11 pre-alpine/Jura range 1991: 9.888 rural 2018: 12.0815 rural 2017: 12.01995 rural 2016: 12.7 rural 2015: 13.44 rural 2014: 12.226 rural 2013: 13.972 rural 2012: 12.9145 rural 2011: 13.885 rural 2010: 14.71 rural 2009: 14.88 rural 2008: 14.195 rural 2007: 13.6 rural 2006: 16.05 rural 2005: 14.995 rural 2004: 14.48 rural 2003: 16.58 rural 2002: 14.58 rural 2001: 13.75 rural 2000: 15.56 rural 1999: 16.88 rural 1998: 16.965 rural 1997: 18.45 rural 1996: 19.09 rural 1995: 16.715 rural 1994: 16.06 rural 1993: 16.97 rural 1992: 18.51 rural 1991: 22.528 suburban 2018: 20.405 suburban 2017: 21.7567 suburban 2016: 21.9 suburban 2015: 23.955 suburban 2014: 23.094 suburban 2013: 24.2005 suburban 2012: 23.994 suburban 2011: 25.265 suburban 2010: 25.87 suburban 2009: 25.645 suburban 2008: 24.79 suburban 2007: 25.025 suburban 2006: 27.87 suburban 2005: 27.27 suburban 2004: 27.185 suburban 2003: 30.665 suburban 2002: 27.545 suburban 2001: 26.815 suburban 2000: 28.165 suburban 1999: 31.265 suburban 1998: 32.225 suburban 1997: 32.915 suburban 1996: 33.675 suburban 1995: 31.82 suburban 1994: 29.28 suburban 1993: 32.91 suburban 1992: 33.533 suburban 1991: 38.849 urban 2018: 25.054 urban 2017: 27.86505 urban 2016: 28 urban 2015: 30.765 urban 2014: 29.475 urban 2013: 31.222 urban 2012: 31.601 urban 2011: 32.93 urban 2010: 32.89 urban 2009: 32.5 urban 2008: 33.645 urban 2007: 34.485 urban 2006: 36.25 urban 2005: 35.065 urban 2004: 34.05 urban 2003: 37.765 urban 2002: 35.39 urban 2001: 35.405 urban 2000: 37.705 urban 1999: 40.1 urban 1998: 42.17 urban 1997: 43.435 urban 1996: 42.805 urban 1995: 41.41 urban 1994: 43.405 urban 1993: 44.155 urban 1992: 49.986 urban 1991: 51.22 urban, heavy traffic 2018: 34.81975 urban, heavy traffic 2017: 38.5656 urban, heavy traffic 2016: 39.2 urban, heavy traffic 2015: 40.89 urban, heavy traffic 2014: 40.089 urban, heavy traffic 2013: 42.735 urban, heavy traffic 2012: 41.438 urban, heavy traffic 2011: 42.425 urban, heavy traffic 2010: 42.19 urban, heavy traffic 2009: 43.23 urban, heavy traffic 2008: 45.665 urban, heavy traffic 2007: 45.64 urban, heavy traffic 2006: 49.32 urban, heavy traffic 2005: 47.31 urban, heavy traffic 2004: 43.955 urban, heavy traffic 2003: 48.115 urban, heavy traffic 2002: 45.845 urban, heavy traffic 2001: 43.025 urban, heavy traffic 2000: 47.325 urban, heavy traffic 1999: 48.715 urban, heavy traffic 1998: 49.308 urban, heavy traffic 1997: 50.095 urban, heavy traffic 1996: 50.904 urban, heavy traffic 1995: 50.996 urban, heavy traffic 1994: 52.881 urban, heavy traffic 1993: 51.138 urban, heavy traffic 1992: 55.185 urban, heavy traffic 1991: 59.88
³

Data for the graph: Excel
Source: FOEN
Comment

Ambient limit levels in urban areas are consistently exceeded, whereas in rural areas concentrations are usually below the specified limits. Concentrations in suburban areas are around the limit level. Since the mid-1980s, NO2 levels have fallen by 30 to 50% thanks to the adopted air pollution control measures (e.g. the tightening of exhaust limit levels and the introduction of catalytic converters for cars). However, nitrogen oxide pollution is still a serious problem that affects large areas of Switzerland. People are still being exposed to excessive nitrogen oxide concentrations and as before, ntrogen compound loads in sensitive ecosystems are still well above the tolerance levels. Further measures are necessary, including for example applying the "best available technologies to vehicles, industrial and agricultural equipment, and heat generators.

International comparison

EU member states also measure nitrogen dioxide immissions and produce corresponding indicators. The levels of NO2 pollution are lower in Switzerland than in its neighbouring countries (fewer diesel vehicles and no thermal power plants).

Method

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 nitrogen dioxide immissions, the measurement data from stations for the various site types were averaged, taking into account only rural stations on the north side of the Alps. The data of the station Sommer had to be homogenized due to a station shift, the method is described in the annual report.

Basis for assessment of the trend
Targeted trend Initial value Final value Variation in % Observed trend Assessment
Decrease Average 1991-1993 Average 2016-2018 (1) -32.26%, (2) -44.33%, (3) -39.16%, (4) -36.56%, (5) -37.24% (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
 
Last updated on: 06.06.2019

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