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Pollution and radiation Swiss increasingly concerned about quality of the environment

A mobile phone antenna in Zurich

The greatest increase in concern has been about radiation from mobile phone antennas, such as this one in Zurich, and high-voltage power lines


Dirt, noise, radiation, climate, loss of species: the Swiss population believes that environmental pollution has increased and continues to increase. Some 61% perceive this as a very serious or quite serious problem. In 2015, only 39% were so pessimistic. 

Well-being and satisfaction have declined in all areas – in the home environment as well as globally, the Federal Statistical Office said in its third survey on environmental quality and behaviour. 

In the previous surveys, in 2011 and 2015, 92% of respondents found the environmental quality in Switzerland very good or quite good; in 2019 only 84% were of this opinion. 

In the first two surveys, as many as 95% thought their immediate surroundings were good, while in the third, only 89% were happy with them. 

According to those surveyed, the rest of the world is in a very bad way: in 2011, 23% of respondents thought global environmental conditions were still good or very good; in 2015 the figure was 20% and in 2019 only 13%. 

Main concerns 

The number of people bothered by air pollution in their immediate vicinity has risen from 19% to 34% over the past four years. And while one in four used to get upset about traffic noise, it is now almost one in three. 

However, the greatest increase in concern has been about radiation from mobile phone antennas and high-voltage power lines – from 10% in the first surveys to 23% in the third. 

While traffic noise, air pollution and radiation were increasingly found to be a disturbance, the trend towards greater consumption of organic products continued. Over 50% of the population considered the loss of biodiversity, the use of pesticides and climate change to be very dangerous for humans and the environment.


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