In a first, UK court rules air pollution as cause of 9-year-old girl's death

ANI
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9-year-old London schoolgirl Ella Kissi-Debrah, who died in February 2013. (Photo credit: EU Environment)
9-year-old London schoolgirl Ella Kissi-Debrah, who died in February 2013. (Photo credit: EU Environment)

London [UK], December 17 (ANI): In a landmark judgement, a UK coroner has said that air pollution was the cause of death of a 9-year-old London schoolgirl Ella Kissi-Debrah.

According to a CNN report, Ella's death in hospital in February 2013 was listed as acute respiratory failure, severe asthma and air pollution exposure.

Meanwhile, the coroner concluded that Ella "died of asthma contributed to by exposure to excessive air pollution".

The charities Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation said Ella was the first person in the history of the world to have air pollution listed as a cause of death on her death certificate, CNN said.

Following the ruling, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a tweet, "Toxic air pollution is a public health crisis. Today it was confirmed to have played a role in the tragic death of 9-year-old Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah. This must be a turning point, so that no one else has to suffer the same heartbreak as Ella's family."

He further said that the Ministers and the previous Mayor "have acted too slowly in the past, but they must now learn the lessons from the Coroner's ruling and do much more to tackle the deadly source of air pollution in London and across the country".

CNN quoted a UK government spokesperson as saying that the government was delivering a pound 3.8 billion plan to clean up transport, tackle NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) pollution and go further in protecting communities from air pollution, as well as setting "ambitious new air quality targets." (ANI)