Coroner rules air pollution was cause of death of girl in landmark UK case

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By Euronews  with AP
The coroner said areas of London still had illegal levels of air pollution
The coroner said areas of London still had illegal levels of air pollution   -  Copyright  AP Photo

A coroner has ruled that a girl in London died partly due to air pollution in what is thought to be the first time someone has had air pollution on their death certificate as a cause of death.

Ella Kissi-Debrah, 9, died from an asthma attack, and the coroner said traffic fumes contributed to her death.

After the ruling, her mother, Rosamund Kissi-Debrah, said "this matter is far from over," referring to remarks from the coroner that there were still illegal levels of air pollution in areas of the city.

Ella Kissi-Debrah lived in Lewisham, around 25 metres away from the busy South Circular Road. She died in February 2013 after suffering multiple seizures.

She had gone to the hospital 27 times with breathing problems over the previous three years.

An inquest in 2014 found she died of acute respiratory failure before it was quashed by the High Court on account of the new evidence of dangerous air pollution.

Campaigners have called for action against air pollutants such as nitrogen oxide, which are at illegal levels in much of the UK.

Kissi-Debrah, who had long-campaigned for her daughter's cause of death to be changed, said on Wednesday: "We've got the justice for her which she so deserved".

However, she warned other children are still at risk in the UK, citing the coroner who said there are still illegal levels of air pollution.