In Landmark Ruling, air pollution registered as cause of death for British Girl

Numerous studies have shown that polluted air, whether caused by car traffic, coal-fired power plants or oil refineries, harms billions of people around the world. In California wildfire smoke poisons children, some of whom pay a higher price than others; in Southeast Asian countries, more than 200 million children breathe highly toxic air; and scientists have found that children who live near highways are developmentally delayed.

“Children have one major vulnerability: their lungs are developing, making them more vulnerable to disease or dysfunctional growth,” said Professor Grigg. “But when we talk about air pollution, we must not lose sight of the effects over the entire life course.”

In 2014, a first court ruling on Ella’s death revealed that she had died of an acute respiratory syndrome. But a court overturned the ruling last year, and Mr Barlow on Wednesday, completing a second inquest, ruled that she “died of asthma caused by exposure to excessive air pollution.”

During the week-long investigation, Ella’s family described her as a lively and beloved child, who played more than 10 instruments and dreamed of becoming a pilot.

“I had printed Beethoven’s love letters that day, so that was the last I read to her,” said her mother, Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, of Ella’s latest asthma attack on February 14, 2013. Ella was spoken. dead in the early hours of the 15th.

“Air pollution is the UK’s biggest environmental threat,” said Public Health England, with up to 36,000 deaths a year “attributed to long-term exposure.” But UK authorities have repeatedly failed to comply with WHO guidelines on levels of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter – the very small particles most dangerous to human tissue – and other legally binding obligations, said Rose Grogan, a lawyer at 39 Essex Chambers. specialized in environmental law.

“Today’s ruling comes in the long-running context where Britain is breaking European air pollution directives,” she said. “The findings in themselves are not legally binding, but that conclusion could likely pave the way for claims that could be brought against the government in civil jurisdictions.”