Ella Kissi-Debrah Wiki – Ella Kissi-Debrah Biography
Air pollution levels outside the home of a female student who died after an asthma attack ‘consistently exceeded’ legal limits, an investigation was heard today.
Ella Kissi-Debrah died after three years of seizures and 27 visits to the hospital for treatment of respiratory problems.
The nine-year-old lived just 80 feet from a notorious ‘hotspot’ on the busy south circular road in Lewisham, southeast London, one of the busiest roads in the capital.
Ella was hospitalized after suffering a bout of coughing at 2 am, but repeatedly lost consciousness and eventually died in February 2013.
When his investigation was reopened today, the trial was told that nitrogen dioxide levels in his place had been above the limit for three years.
Local council representatives acknowledged that it was moving at ‘glacial’ pace after addressing concerns in 2007, but had not introduced an action plan for seven years.
The new hearing could result in a landmark decision, and a decision that air pollution was a factor in his death would be a legal first in England.
An investigation in 2014 focused on Ella’s medical care and concluded that the cause of death was acute respiratory failure as a result of a severe asthma attack.
But a report submitted to the Supreme Court by Professor Stephen Holgate in 2018 revealed that pollutant levels at the Catford monitoring station, one mile from Ella’s home, ‘consistently’ exceeded legal EU limits for the three years prior to his death.
His mother, Rosamund, successfully applied to the Supreme Court to overturn the first 2014 investigation into his death when new evidence came to light.
“The question of whether the pollution caused or contributed to Ella’s death is of course one of the main questions of the investigation,” said Deputy Judge Philip Barlow, who opened the investigation today. Said.
Ella’s mother, Rosamund Kissi-Debrah, listened to the start of the crucial investigation at Southwark Coroner’s Court today via an audio link.
David Edwards, Head of Environmental Health, Lewisham Council, confirmed that the diffusion tubes closest to Ella’s home consistently crossed legal limits between 2006 and 2014.
At the time of Ella’s death she admitted that the pollution levels were a ‘public health emergency’.
They exceeded the annual average of 40 micrograms per cubic meter, or 200 micrograms per cubic meter, more than 18 times a year, a limit set by the EU air quality directive 2008.
The court heard that Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) pollution levels could rise to dangerous levels at any time, but would not count as ‘overrun’ if lower levels were contested in the same year.
The area directly surrounding Ella’s home, along with six other sites in Lewisham, was declared an ‘air quality management area’ in 2013.
Richard Hermer, QC, representing the family, claimed that the official was fully aware of the dangerous levels of nitrogen dioxide in South Circular in the years leading up to the fatal asthma attack.
The lawyer said the action taken by the council proceeded ‘at glacial pace’ after the first detection of nitrogen dioxide violations in 2007, and its effects on vulnerable people with respiratory ailments like Ella’s.
The court heard that a ‘first draft action plan’ had been published seven years after the air pollution risks were known.
During questioning, the council president acknowledged that the toxic nitrogen dioxide levels were at ‘illegal’ levels for three years, from 2010 to 2013.
“From 2010 until Ella’s death, average annual nitrogen dioxide levels were consistently at illegal levels,” said Mr. Hermer. She asked.
Mr. Edwards said, “Probably yes.”
When asked whether levels were deemed harmful by the World Health Organization borders in the years before Ella’s death, Mr Edwards answered ‘yes’.
He also acknowledged that this should be addressed as ‘a public health emergency’ and that the Council was moving at a ‘glacial pace’ that lasted seven years from 2007 to bring in a so-called ‘action plan’ to solve the problem. .
Mr. Hermer said: “In the context of a public health emergency, this is a glacial pace.”