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Too many Swiss exposed to high noise levels

Around one in every six residents of Switzerland is confronted daily with unacceptably high levels of noise, mostly from road traffic.

This content was published on May 18, 2009 - 15:26

According to the Federal Environment Office, efforts to reduce the impact of noise on the population have not been effective.

The results, published on Monday, were based on noise from roads, rail and air traffic.

The office estimates that 1.2 million people, or 16 per cent of the population, have to deal with high levels of noise from roads. The number drops to ten per cent during the night.

In comparison, around 70,000 people are impacted by train noise during the day. This number doubles at night when people living near rail lines are at home, and there is a greater frequency of freight trains on the tracks.

The figure for air traffic is 65,000 – mostly people living close to either Zurich or Geneva airports.

Acceptable maximum levels in Switzerland are between 55 and 70 decibels during the day and 45 and 60 at night.

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