Dublin has been named alongside London as the "cleanest" of 26 cities examined for pollution linked to premature death.
The capital has been helped by the smokey coal ban of many years which, the study pointed out, led to a fall in air pollution and a reduced number of deaths.
The findings, published today, follow a study of fine-particulate-matter pollution which is associated with an increase in death from all causes, particularly respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
The research in the 'Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health' said the EU wants to cap average levels of fine-particulate-matter pollution at 20 micrograms per cubic metre of air by 2010, but the equivalent standard recommended by the World Health Organisation is 10.
Estimated average annual levels of fine particulate matter ranged from 17 to 61 micrograms per cubic metre of air. Dublin had a level below 10.