News

Coroner calls on UK government to adopt WHO limits on air pollution

By on

A coroner has called for new laws on air pollution limits after he concluded that pollution led to the death of nine-year-old Ella Kissi-Debrah.


In his report, which has been sent to several government departments and medical institutions, he calls for three clear actions.

Firstly, he says the UK should adopt new legally binding targets based on World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines for particulate matter. Although there is “no safe level for particulate exposure”, lowering PM limits would “reduce the number of deaths from air pollution in the UK”.

Nine-year-old Ella Kissi-Debrah died from air pollution exacerbated asthma: Photograph: Ella Roberta estate

Secondly, he says there is low public awareness of information on national and local pollution levels. He calls on national and local government to do much more about publicising information that is already available, such as via the UK-Air website.

Finally, he is concerned that the adverse effects of air pollution on health are not being sufficiently communicated to patients by their doctors. He says change must be adopted by all key stakeholders in the health education system as well as the bodies which write health guidance, such as NICE.

Commenting, Ella’s mother Rosamund called on the government to act on the report, saying: “As the parent of a child suffering from severe asthma, I should have been given this information but this did not happen.”

“Because of a lack of information I did not take the steps to reduce Ella’s exposure to air pollution that might have saved her life. I will always live with this regret.

“But it is not too late for other children.”

The UK’s legal limit for fine particulate pollution, PM2.5, is an annual mean of 20 micrograms per cubic metre, twice the 10 micrograms per cubic metre in the WHO guidelines.

The government is committed to a response to the coroner’s report by 17 June.

NEWS


Istock MED 1212160149 William87

Masks only effective if ‘everyone does it’ warn safety professionals

By Belinda Liversedge on 13 July 2021

Experience has taught us that we can’t guarantee people will behave responsibly to prevent Covid transmission such as by wearing masks, the chair of the British Safety Council has warned.



Wembley Before Match In 2016 Istock Adam Petto MED

Wembley capacity increased to more than 60,000 ahead of Semi-Final

By Belinda Liversedge on 28 June 2021

More than 60,000 fans will be able to attend the UEFA EURO 2020 semi-finals and final at Wembley Stadium following an announcement by the UK government, increasing attendance to 75 per cent of capacity for each game.



Istock 1318778301 Credit RK BHAT PAJAKA MANGALURU KARNATAKA INDIA 430 Wide Min

Indian government launches inquiry into ONGC barge tragedy that claimed 86 lives

By Orchie Bandyopadhyay on 01 July 2021

Eighty-six offshore workers lost their lives after four vessels that state-run oil and gas major Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) put into service, went adrift in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Mumbai during Cyclone Tauktae on May 17.