Particulate matter in Switzerland: status report 2013

The Swiss Federal Commission for Air Hygiene (EKL) has summarised and evaluated the latest research findings on adverse effects of ambient particulate matter on human health. In its report it recommends incorporating an additional ambient air quality standard for smaller particulate matter (PM2.5) into the Ordinance on Air Pollution Control (OAPC).


Original Publication (available in German, French and Italian)

Eidgenössische Kommission für Lufthygiene (EKL) (2013). Feinstaub in der Schweiz 2013: Statusbericht der Eidgenössischen Kommission für Lufthygiene, Bern. 63 S. (PDF, 1.5 MB)


Its recommendations are as follows:

  1. to retain the short and long term ambient air quality standards specified for PM10 in the Ordinance on Air Pollution Control (OAPC)
  2. to harmonise the particulate matter ambient air quality standards with the globally applicable impact-related air quality guidelines of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and to add a new annual mean ambient air quality standard for PM2.5 to Appendix 7 of the OAPC
  3. to specify a binding 10-year interim target for the reduction of carcinogenic soot to 20 percent of the present-day level

This means that additional measures need to be taken to reduce emissions of pollutants contributing to ambient particulate matter, especially from diesel engines and wood-fired stoves. Other indicators of ambient particulate matter (e.g. number of particles, concentration of toxic substances) should be permanently monitored at selected locations, and efforts to define internationally recognised reference measurement procedures need to be resolutely pursued



Contact for enquiries

Prof. Dr. N. Künzli
President of the Swiss Federal Commission for Air Hygiene (EKL)
Phone: +41 (0)61 284 83 99 or +41 (0)79 535 85 25




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