London girl’s death decision first believed to cite air pollution as a cause
A 9-year-old London girl who died of an asthma attack would be the first person in the world to have air pollution listed as a cause of death.
This week’s historic coroner’s decision, updated from an earlier finding, was based on air quality measurements from a busy road near Ella Kissi-Debrah’s home in Lewisham , in south-east London.
Kissi-Debrah died in February 2013 from cardiac arrest, the coroner reported on Wednesday, according to British news agency PA Media. The girl suffered from severe asthma which caused episodes of cardiac and respiratory arrest, and had frequent hospitalizations for three years, according to the report.
His medical cause of death has been listed as acute respiratory failure, severe asthma, and exposure to air pollution. This week’s decision included more evidence that went beyond a previous investigative decision from 2014, which found the girl had died of acute respiratory failure.
“Air pollution was a major contributing factor to both the induction and exacerbation of his asthma,” Assistant Coroner Philip Barlow said, PA Media reported.
“During her illness between 2010 and 2013, she was exposed to levels of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter exceeding World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines,” said Barlow.
“The main source of his exposure was traffic emissions,” he said. Barlow said there had been a failure during this period to reduce the level of nitrogen dioxide to the limits set by EU and national law.
Ella’s mother, Rosamund Kissi-Debrah, said she would rather see a public awareness campaign about the damage air pollution can cause “rather than a blame game,” according to the report.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, called it a “historic moment” in A declaration. “Today must be a turning point so that other families do not have to endure the same grief as Ella’s family,” he said.
In the United States, the Trump administration earlier this month finalized a rule that could prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from stepping up measures to deal with air pollution and the climate crisis in the future. .
The EPA’s new rule is one of many measures President Donald Trump’s appointees are finalizing ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration next month, including a number that relax existing environmental regulations . The new rule would require an analysis of the costs and benefits of the proposed policy changes as part of the Air Quality Actwhether or not the environmental impacts outweigh the potential economic impacts. The Trump administration had widely cited the costs to businesses and households as it embarked on the setbacks.
The State of the World Air 2020 revealed that dirty air was responsible for 6.67 million deaths worldwide in 2019 and caused the premature deaths of nearly half a million babies, the first time the report focused on the youngest Population.
Most of the deaths in this age group have been in the developing world, data shows, and are part of a growing body of research link climate change and pollution to public health issues.