Air quality in Switzerland

Air quality in Switzerland has improved steadily since the mid-1980s. However, pollution from respirable particulate matter (PM10), ozone (O3) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) continues to exceed the legally prescribed ambient limit values. The scale of ammonia (NH3) pollution is also far in excess of the critical limit value.

Fine particles

Tiny airborne dust particles (PM10) represent one of the greatest challenges for today's air pollution control policy. Cities and and developed zones in the vicinity of main roads are exposed to excessive levels of particulate matter with negative consequences on human health.

Ozone - Summer smog

Sunny periods during summer without wind cause increasing zone concentrations. This pollution has negative effects on human health, buildings, materials, and the climate. The policy of the confederation aims at reducing precursor substances (nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds) on the basis of permanent measures.

Nitrogen-containing air pollutants affect biodiversity

Elevated nitrogen inputs have a negative effect on nitrogen-sensitive ecosystems due to over-fertilization. Ammonia emissions from agriculture account for about two-thirds, nitrogen oxide emissions from combustion processes to about one-third of the total nitrogen inputs. With the objective of protecting human health and the environment, the Swiss Federal Council intends to reduce ammonia emissions by about 40% and nitrogen oxides by about 50% compared to 2005.

Real time and historical data

Air pollution: data

Real time and historical data of the National Air Pollution Monitoring Network (NABEL), as well as of cantonal and urban monitoring networks

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Last modification 03.05.2019

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