Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and their nitrogen analogs, basic azaarenes, are extracted from samples of airborne particulate matter by toluene with ultrasonic treatment. The basic azaarenes are extracted from the toluene phase with phosphoric acid, re-extracted from the phosphoric acid phase (adjusted to pH 14 with potassium hydroxide) with dichloromethane, and determined by capillary gas chromatography (g.c.) with a nitrogen-sensitive detector. The PAH in the toluene phase are isolated by means of semipreparative high-performance liquid chromatography and liquid-liquid extraction and determined by g.c. with a flame-ionization detector. Eleven basic azaarenes were identified; their concentration were one to two orders of magnitude lower than those of PAH. Results from the determination of the concentrations of basic azaarenes and PAH in the atmosphere in a busy street and in a suburban residential area of Copenhagen are presented and discussed.