Intended for healthcare professionals


Control pollution, protect children, save lives

BMJ 2021; 373 doi: (Published 30 April 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;373:n1110


The health community must act on air pollution as an issue of health justice

  1. Andrew Bush, professor of paediatrics and paediatric respirology
  1. Imperial Centre for Paediatrics and Child Health and Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK
  2. a.bush{at}

Coroner urges action to prevent further asthma deaths

Asthma outcomes in the UK are among the worst in the world,12 but little is done except endlessly to rewrite guidelines that are largely ignored. The leading cause of asthma deaths in children is fragmented clinical care3—fragmented because asthma attacks are treated as isolated events rather than markers of underlying risk that must be addressed.45 Asthma is a serious chronic condition and should be treated as such.6

On 21 April 2021, a London coroner issued a regulation 28 report after an inquest ruled that environmental pollution had made a material contribution to the death of a 9 year old girl, Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, who lived near the congested South Circular Road. Regulation 28 reports signal that action must be taken, in this case to prevent any future deaths from air pollution.

The coroner identified three areas of …

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