At the present time, the method of choice for the determination of polynuclear hydrocarbons appears to be the following, (a) extraction of the benzene-soluble fraction from the gross collected particulate matter, (b) one pass through a chromatographic column of partially deactivated alumina, (c) spectral examination of the fractions and (d) the application of appropriate chemical tests as indicated by the previous step. Using this method, the presence of pyrene, fluoranthene, one of the benzofluorenes, chrysens, benz(a)anthracene, benzo(a)pyrene, benzo(e)pyrene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, anthanthrene, and coronene was demonstrated in the air of numerous American cities, and benzo(a)pyrene was measured at some 130 sites. Invaluable as such accurate determinations may be for research purposes, they are still too costly and time-consuming for routine survey purposes. While studies on the subject are by no means complete, they indicate the validity of piperonal chloride test as a general index of polycyclic hydrocarbons. This procedure is described in this paper. 7 references.