Air pollution in London is partly the cause of the death of a young girl. This is the first time that a court has ruled in this way, setting a precedent.

In a previously unprecedented ruling, the British judiciary has blamed air pollution in London for the death of a nine-year-old girl. Poor air quality “contributed significantly” to the death of little Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah in 2013, Philip Barlow, deputy investigator of the Inner South Coroner’s Court, discovered Wednesday after nearly two weeks of hearings on the case.

The nine-year-old died in February 2013 after a severe asthma attack. In the past three years, she had been hospitalized nearly 30 times with breathing problems. Her apartment was on a busy ring road in Lewisham.

The initial findings have been questioned

An initial forensic investigation in 2014 found that Ella had died of acute shortness of breath as a result of her severe asthma. However, these findings were questioned last year and a new investigation was ordered.

The deputy coroner charged with investigating the death now came to a different conclusion. Ella was “exposed to nitrogen dioxide levels” that were “above World Health Organization guidelines,” Barlow said.

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