Air quality in Switzerland has significantly changed for the better in the last 30 years, but there is still room for improvement. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)
Compared with other countries in Europe with similar population density, pollutant emissions in Switzerland are relatively low. Air quality has been improving steadily since the 1980s. The emissions of most pollutants like sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide have fallen over the past years. As the Federal Office for the Environment points out, currently nine of the 12 most important air pollutants are under legal limits.
However statutory levels are still exceeded, by ground-level ozone and nitrogen dioxide, among others. Excessive levels of these substances pose a threat to health as they can cause respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
Pollutant limits are kept in check by legislation to ensure that no harm is done to human beings and other living organisms. State-of-the-art technologies also contribute to preventing emissions from sources such as motor vehicles, heating systems and industrial machinery.