A high-volume sampler fitted with a glass-fiber filter and backed by polyurethane foam (PUF) was employed to collect airborne particulate and gas-phase polycylic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in ambient air. Samples were collected from four sources representing a range of environmental conditions: gasoline engine exhaust, diesel engine exhaust, air near a heavily traveled interstate site, and air from a moderately polluted urban site. Spectral fingerprints of the unseparated particulate and gas-phase samples were obtained by constant energy synchronous luminescence spectroscopy (CESLS). Five major PAHs in the gas-phase extracts were characterized and estimated. The compatibility of a high-volume sampling method using polyurethane foam coupled with CESLS detection is explored for use as a screening technique for PAHs in ambient air. ?? 1985 American Chemical Society.