REPORT: Nine-Year-Old Girl’s Death Caused By Air Pollution


Kyle Heckman Contributor
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A London coroner has ruled air pollution was the cause of death for a nine-year-old girl in 2013.

Ella Kissi-Debrah died in February of 2013 due to acute respiratory failure, severe asthma and air pollution exposure, according to inner south London coroner Philip Barlow, the Guardian reported.

Barlow reportedly said that failure to reduce pollution levels contributed to the girls death as well as the failure of providing her mother with information on air pollution potentially exacerbating asthma.

Barlow told the Guardian that nitrogen dioxide levels where Kissi-Debrah lived exceeded national and EU standards. (RELATED: Microplastic Pollution Found In Samples Near The Peak Of Mt. Everest)

This type of ruling was a legal first for the UK and will likely lead to the government handling high levels of pollution across the country, according to the Guardian.

Rosamund Kissi-Debrah, Ella’s mother, had been fighting for years to have her daughter’s death looked into further.

Kissi-Debrah’s attorneys submitted that the air pollution was a public health emergency and that lowering the pollutants in the air need to be a priority, according to the Guardian. This was echoed later by London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, who said that Barlow’s ruling was a “landmark moment” and that the pollution was “a public health crisis.”

Immunopharmacologist, Professor Stephen Holgate, reportedly said that Ella’s death should be a signal to others of the danger of air pollutants.

“We are delivering a £3.8bn plan to clean up transport and tackle NO2 pollution, and going further in protecting communities from air pollution, particularly PM2.5 pollution, which we know is particularly harmful to people’s health. Through our landmark environment bill, we are also setting ambitious new air-quality targets, with a primary focus on reducing public health impact,” a spokesperson for the government told the Guardian.