Air pollution cited as cause of girl’s death in historical ruling

A 9-year-old girl in the UK who died after an asthma attack is believed to be the first person in the world to report air pollution as the cause of death.

Exposure to “excessive air pollution” played a “significant” role in the death of Ella Kissi-Debrah in 2013, a coroner found in a landmark ruling Wednesday.

“Air pollution was a major contributing factor to both the induction and the worsening of her asthma,” said coroner Philip Barlow after a two-week hearing.

He said that in the three years before Ella’s death, she was exposed to levels of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter that exceeded World Health Organization guidelines.

Barlow added that the “main source of her exposure was traffic emissions.”

Ella lived near a busy main road in Lewisham in south-east London, which is often blocked by heavy traffic.

Before her death, she had been taken to hospital nearly 30 times with breathing problems.

The historic ruling could force Britain to speed up and clean up the city air.

According to European Union law, the annual average concentration level of nitrogen dioxide cannot exceed 40 micrograms per cubic meter of air – a target that Britain has failed to meet in a decade.

London mayor Sadiq Khan called the coroner’s conclusion a ‘landmark moment’.

Ella’s mother Rosamund agreed.


Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah’s Mother

AFP via Getty Images


Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah looks at a photo of her daughter Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah.

AFP via Getty Images

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President Vladimir Putin said intelligence agents would have the job “finished” …

“Today was an important case, a 7-year battle has resulted in air pollution being recognized on Ella’s death certificate,” she tweeted.

“Hopefully this means that many more children’s lives will be saved.”

With pole wires