Sandra Saville Wed 16 Dec 2020 13.23 GMT
A coroner has made legal history by ruling that air pollution was a cause of the death of a nine-year-old girl.
Philip Barlow, the inner south London coroner, said Ella Kissi-Debrah’s death in February 2013 was caused by acute respiratory failure, severe asthma and air pollution exposure.
He said she was exposed to nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter (PM) pollution in excess of World Health Organization guidelines, the principal source of which were traffic emissions.
The coroner said the failure to reduce pollution levels to legal limits possibly contributed to her death, as did the failure to provide her mother with information about the potential for air pollution to exacerbate asthma.
“Ella died of asthma contributed to by exposure to excessive air pollution,” said the coroner on Wednesday.