The mother of Ella Kissi-Debrah, the first person in the UK to have air pollution listed as a cause of death, has accused Boris Johnson of not taking air pollution seriously when he was Mayor of London at the time of her daughter’s death.
In an interview with The Big Issue following the landmark ruling, Rosamund Kissi-Debrah said the lack of action from the mayor’s office was “unforgiveable” when Ella was sick.
Ella was nine years old when she died of acute respiratory failure in 2013, having spent her childhood living a stone’s throw from the busy South Circular road in Lewisham, south London.
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Johnson delayed the expansion of London’s low emission zone in 2010, the inquest was told, the year Ella first started suffering from severe asthma attacks.
Coroner Philip Barlow ruled that Ella was consistently exposed to levels of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter in excess of World Health Organisation guidelines, pollutants that ultimately both induced and exacerbated her condition.