Hydrocarbons have been analyzed in several samples from ''Midlante'' cruise, Cape Verde islands-Canary islands, in the Eastern tropical Atlantic: subsurface water, sea surface microlayer collected by a metallic screen and aerosols collected by filtration of large air volumes at about 12 m. above the sea surface. Detailed analysis of aliphatic and polyaromatic hydrocarbons has been made by computerized gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. This study of the air/sea interface indicates a discontinuity in hydrocarbon composition between the underlying water and the microlayer and a similarity between the surface microlayer and the aerosols. The origin of the collected aerosols is essentially marine with a minor terrestrial contribution. The hydrocarbon pattern shows that, superimposed on the typical marine components, a contribution from smokes of natural and industrial origin and/or from pollution associated with crude oil sea slicks is present.