A girl aged nine years old died after undergoing an asthma attack and has been considered as the first individual in the UK who died due to air pollution.
Air pollution has been listed as the cause of death of Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, a UK resident living near Lewisham’s South Circular Road in southeastern London. She expired last 2013.
Court rules air pollution killed the girl
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Two women and a dog sit on Parliament Hill in Hampstead Heath overlooking an overcast Central London on April 10, 2015 in London, England. Air pollution and smog has blanketed much of central and Southern England today, posing a possible health risk to those suffering from respiratory diseases, older people and children, according to health charities.
According to the ruling of the Southwark Coroners Court, air pollution had a substantial contribution to the death of the little girl. It has been called a landmark decision by air pollution government adviser Professor Gavin Shaddick.
The decision was made after an inquest that lasted for two weeks. According to Philip Barlow, a coroner, Ella was exposed to excessive pollution levels.
During the inquest hearings, the court received information that three years before Ella’s death, she experienced many seizures. She also had 27 admissions to the hospital.
Mr. Barrow delivered the narrative verdict, stating that the levels of NO2 or nitrogen dioxide near the residence of the girl was beyond the safety standards set by the guidelines of the European Union as well as the WHO or World Health Organization.
Barrow said that there was a failure to decrease the levels of the pollutant nitrogen dioxide, and it possibly contributed to the death of Ella. Also, information was not provided to Ella’s mother, information that could have helped avoid her untimely death.
The coroner read the conclusion and ruling for nearly one hour. He said that the girl died from asthma, which was exacerbated by her exposure to too much air pollution.
Justice for Ella and her mother
According to the mother of the girl, Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, they acquired justice so deserved by Ella. However, she added that the case is also about the other children who live and walk in a city with high air pollution levels.
Ella’s mother was shocked at the decisiveness and comprehensiveness of the court findings.
Ella was first brought to the hospital last 2010 due to a fit of coughing, according to Adoo-Kissi-Debrah. Her tender age caused her to be put into a coma that was medically induced. This lasted for three days to stabilize Ella and her condition.
By 2012, in the summer, Ella had been classified disabled. Her mother usually had to piggyback her to carry her. According to her mom, people have to understand that whenever Ella needed to be confined to the hospital, most of the time she almost could not breathe.
Finally, in early February 15, 2013, Ella was brought to the emergency from cardiac arrest after having a severe attack of asthma.
The report in 2018 found that unlawful air pollution levels were detected a mile away from the home of Ella from a monitoring station there. This was a contributing factor to the asthma attack which cost her life.
According to Professor Sir Stephen Holgate, the author of the report, Ella was already living on the edge of a knife in the last months before her death.
According to the details in the inquest’s hearings, Ella’s family was not aware of the risks of air pollution which triggered her asthma attack and caused her death.
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