Abstract Results are presented of a study on the occurrence of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and dibenzofurans (PCDFs) in samples of soil, collected from suspected spots at seven locations in the vicinity of Amsterdam. From these areas it was known that small-scale (illegal) incineration of scrap wire and scrap cars might have resulted in contamination with PCDDs and PCDFs. A total of twenty samples, including five duplicates, was subjected to chemical analysis. Isomer specific analyses were performed at the Laboratory of Environmental and Toxicological Chemistry of the University of Amsterdam. Dioxin levels are expressed in ng 2,3,7,8-TCDD-equivalents per kg of dry material (ng I-TEQ/kg dry weight). The following conclusions can be drawn: 1. 1. At certain spots, the small-scale (illegal) incineration activities have resulted in strongly increased levels of PCDDs and PCDFs in soils, ranging between 60 and 98000 ng I-TEQ/kg dry weight. Nine out of the fifteen soil samples had dioxin levels (far) above the so-called “level of concern” of 1000 ng/kg dry weight, as proposed by Kimbrough et al. (1984), for the soil contamination with 2,3,7,8-TCDD in Times Beach (USA). 2. 2. Lower dioxin levels are found in soil samples originating from a premise of a former scrap car dealer. The origin of these dioxins however is uncertain. 3. 3. It is recommended to trace all locations elsewhere in the Netherlands at which open-air incineration of scrap wires occurs, in order to stop potential extra exposure to dioxins by direct contact with contaminated soil or contamination of the food chain, e.g. grazing live-stock. In reviewing the present and future use of the incineration sites, it seems important to consider the utilization of their direct surroundings as well.