Ella Kissi-Debrah's mother calls for Clean Air Act in wake of landmark ruling
(The Guardian, 17 Dec 2020) Campaigners urge action after a coroner rules air pollution contributed to her daughter’s death.
The mother of Ella Kissi-Debrah called for her legacy to be the passing of a new clean air act to force the government in the UK to clean up the environment for future generations of children.
Rosamund Kissi-Debrah spoke after a coroner ruled that illegal levels of air pollution, predominantly from traffic, had caused the death of her nine year old daughter in south London in February 2013.
The coroner’s ruling was the first in the world – experts believe – to identify air pollution as a cause of an individual’s death. In a landmark narrative verdict, Philip Barlow, inner south London coroner, said Ella died from acute respiratory failure, severe asthma and air pollution exposure.
He ruled that the “recognised failure” of government and other bodies, to reduce nitrogen dioxide levels or to provide information to the public about their risks, was a possible contribution to the schoolgirl’s death.