A nine-year-old British-born girl, Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, who died in 2013, has been officially declared as the first victim of air pollution. It’s the first time that such cause has been stated on a death certificate in the UK.
Ella died while fighting severe Asthma attack. She lived near London’s South Circular Road, one of the city’s busiest roads. As per her initial medical reports, her death occurred because of seizure(as a result of Asthma attack) caused by an allergic reaction to something present in the air which she was exposed to.
Since Ella’s tragic death, her mother Rosamund Kissi-Debrah has been fighting for clean air while she also demanded high-level investigation to recognise air pollution as her daughter’s cause of death. Later a report found that the level of poisonous gas nitrogen dioxide(NO ₂) near Ella’s home, had been exceeded the guideline set by World Health Organization (WHO) and European Union (EU) which eventually led to Ella’s medical complications and death.
On December 17, an inquiry on Ella’s death was concluded and her cause of death was ruled to be air pollution. This is the first time when air pollution has been officially linked to someone’s death.
It is assumed that every year around seven million people die due to air pollution.