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Coroner rules air pollution caused death of Ella Kissi-Debrah

Exposure to excessive air pollution contributed to death of 9-year-old girl

Mark Moran
17 December 2020
Ella Kissi-Debrah
Ella Kissi-Debrah


Ella Kissi-Debrah, a 9-year-old girl who died in 2013, has become the first person in the UK to have air pollution listed as a cause of death.

Philip Barlow, the inner south London coroner, said Ella’s death in Lewisham, during February 2013 was caused by acute respiratory failure, severe asthma and air pollution exposure.

Delivering a narrative verdict, Barlow said that air pollution had both induced and exacerbated Ella’s particular form of severe asthma. “Ella died of...

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