An extraction procedure for the determination of soluble and insoluble nickel and its compounds in ambient air dust was investigated employing a special device for the generation of test aerosols and using water-soluble NiCl2, partly water-soluble NiCO3 and water-insoluble NiO as model compounds. Additionally, results of the separation and determination of different nickel species down to some ng/m3 in ambient aerosols are discussed. The extraction was carried out with a solution containing 0.01 mol/L EDTA in order to determine partly water-soluble compounds such as NiCO3 and water-soluble, non-toxic nickel compounds in one step. Airborne dust was sampled on filters at locations close to two metallurgical plants in Northrhine-Westphalia (Germany), and first results on the nickel concentration (mean (median) values over a period of 4 months: 8.6+/-6.5 ng/m3 (6.7 ng/m3) and 27.7+/-36 ng/m3 (10.8 ng/m3), respectively) in the collected dust are presented. For EDTA-soluble nickel compounds the maximum and mean fractions of total nickel were found to be 77.1% and 18.6+/-12%, respectively.