Air pollution - State and impacts (Switzerland)
- Air pollution
Air quality in Switzerland has improved greatly over the past 25 years. Immissions of particulate matter, ozone and nitrogen dioxide, as well as of nitrogen compounds continue to be excessive. This is largely due to emissions of particulate matter (PM10), nitrogen oxides (NOx), volatile organic compounds (NMVOC), and ammonia (NH3).
Young children, the chronically ill and some elderly people are particularly affected by air pollution. Especially at risk are people who live close to busy roads. A particularly serious problem is exposure to excessive levels of particulate matter (PM10). Air pollution in Switzerland is responsible for respiratory and cardiovascular disorders, leading to around 3000 to 4000 premature deaths per year (ARE/FOEN, 2008).
Air pollution in Switzerland generates external costs totalling several billion Swiss francs every year. In the health sector alone, the costs are estimated at CHF 5.1 billion for the year 2005 (ARE/FOEN, 2008). None of these external costs are borne by the polluters.