It was recently suggested that emissions of some persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are decreasing in former use regions due to emission reductions combined with uncontrolled export, at the expense of regions receiving these substances as obsolete products and wastes. Aliaga industrial region in Izmir, Turkey is one of the regions receiving POPs in the form of scrap iron and old ships to be scrapped. Ambient air samples were collected by passive sampling during four seasons in 2009 and 2010 (winter, spring, summer, and fall) at forty different sites in Aliaga to determine the spatial and seasonal variations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Soil samples were also collected at the air sampling sites during the summer period. Phenanthrene was the most abundant PAH at all sites, and all samples were dominated by low to medium molecular weight PAHs, i.e., fluorene, fluoranthene and pyrene. The spatial distribution of ambient PAH concentrations indicated that the major PAH sources in the region were iron-steel plants, petroleum refinery, and ship dismantling plants. At residential sites, PAH concentrations were higher in winter indicating that wintertime concentrations were mainly affected by residential heating emissions. However, highest atmospheric PCBs concentrations were observed in summer, probably due to increased volatilization from their sources at higher temperatures. Low to medium molecular weight PCBs (tri-, tetra-, penta-CBs) were the most abundant compounds in air for all seasons. Results also indicated that iron-steel plants and ship dismantling facilities were the major PCB emitters in the region. A similar spatial variation was observed for soil PAH and PCB concentrations. Air and soil PAH and PCB concentrations were correlated significantly indicating the interaction of these compartments. Results of the fugacity ratio calculations indicated that local soils generally act as a sink throughout the year for medium to low volatility atmospheric PAHs and PCBs. However, during summer soil becomes a source, especially for volatile PAHs and PCBs. (C) Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.