Ella Kissi-Debrah was the first person in the UK to have air pollution listed as the cause of death on their death certificate, following an inquest last year
The government has been urged to set tougher legally binding pollution targets by the coroner in an inquest into a nine-year-old girl who died of a fatal asthma attack after being exposed to toxic air.
Philip Barlow, assistant coroner for Inner South London, ruled in a landmark second inquest last year that air pollution contributed to the death of nine-year-old Ella Kissi-Debrah from an asthma attack.
In a report to prevent future deaths, he said legally binding targets for particulate matter in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines would reduce the number of deaths from air pollution in the UK and the government should take action to address the issue.
He also said greater public awareness of air pollution information would help individuals reduce their personal exposure.
And he warned the adverse effects of pollutants were not being sufficiently communicated to patients and their carers by medical staff
Responding to the report, Ella’s mother Rosamund Kissi-Debrah called on the government to act on the recommendations in the coroner’s report, warning “children are dying unnecessarily because the government is not doing enough to combat air pollution”.
Ella was the first person in the UK to have air pollution listed as the cause of death on their death certificate, following the inquest ruling by Mr Barlow last December.
She lived 25 metres from the South Circular Road in Lewisham, south-east London – one of the capital’s busiest roads.
She died in February 2013, having endured numerous seizures and made almost 30 hospital visits over the previous three years.