1. The number of premature deaths in China caused by dangerous air particles, known as PM2.5, has stabilised globally in recent years but has risen sharply in India, according to the report, issued jointly by the Health Effects Institute, a Boston research institute focused on the health effects of air pollution, and the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, a population health research centre in Seattle.

2. India has registered an alarming increase of nearly 50% in premature deaths from particulate matter between 1990 and 2015.

Global progress
The report has a website that provides country-by-country data on pollution levels and the health and mortality effects. Environmental regulations in the U.S. and actions by the European Commission have led to substantial progress in reducing fine particulate pollution since 1990, the report said.

The U.S. has experienced a reduction of about 27% in the average annual exposure to fine particulate matter, with smaller declines in Europe.

About PM (particulate matter)
A fraction of the width of a human hair, these particles can be released from vehicles, particularly those with diesel engines, and by industry, as well as from natural sources like dust.

They enter the bloodstream through the lungs, worsening cardiac disease and increasing the risk of stroke and heart failure, in addition to causing severe respiratory problems, like asthma and pneumonia.