Inductively coupled plasma/atomic emission spectroscopy (AES) as a method for analyzing industrial hygiene air samples was evaluated. Low temperature oxygen plasma ashing and acid digestion procedures using nitric-acid or nitric-acid/perchloric-acid mixtures with samples containing 30 elements were investigated to determine the optimum technique for dissolving samples. Three different filters (cellulose ester, polyvinyl-chloride copolymer, and polycarbonate) were evaluated for trace metal contamination. Detection limits were determined using adjustable cross flow, fixed cross flow, or high solids nebulizers. Field samples were analyzed by AES and atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS). Low temperature oxygen plasma ashing was faster than either acid digestion procedure. Polycarbonate filters had the lowest concentrations of contaminants. Cellulose ester filters were the easiest to ash or digest. Detection limits were lower for adjustable and fixed cross flow than for high solids nebulizers. Correlation between AES and AAS results of the field samples was generally good. Overall precision of the method was approximately 3 percent relative standard deviations. The author concludes that AES is a viable method for analyzing industrial hygiene air samples. The optimum procedure involves collection of samples on cellulose ester or polycarbonate filters, digestion by low temperature oxygen plasma ashing, and fixed cross flow nebulization.