Reactive gaseous mercury (RGM) and particulate mercury (PHg) were collected in Milwaukee, WI, between April 2004 and May 2005, and in Riverside, CA, between July 25 and August 7, 2005 using sorbent and filter substrates. The substrates were analyzed for mercury by thermal desorption analysis (TDA) using a purpose-built instrument. Results from this offline-TDA method were compared with measurements using a real-time atmospheric mercury analyzer. RGM measurements made with the offline-TDA agreed well with a commercial real-time method. However, the offline TDA reported PHg concentrations 2.7 times higher than the real-time method, indicating evaporative losses might be occurring from the real-time instrument during sample collection. TDA combined with reactive mercury collection on filter and absorbent substrates was cheap, relatively easy to use, did not introduce biases due to a semicontinuous sample collection strategy, and had a dynamic range appropriate for use in rural and urban locations. The results of this study demonstrate that offline-TDA is a feasible method for collecting reactive mercury concentrations in a large network of filter-based samplers. Copyright 2008 Air & Waste Management Association.