Laser-based aerosol mass spectrometry in both on-line and off-line modes has become an essential tool to analyze airborne and industrial dust particles. The versatility of laser desorption and/or ionization appears to be a powerful tool to obtain the global composition of environment particles. Laser mass spectrometry to analyze inorganic (elemental and molecular), organic and biological aerosol components without or with a restricted number of preparation steps in both on-line and off-line modes can be regarded as an ideal analytical machine. However, some limitations are associated to this range of mass spectrometry techniques. This review presents the fundamental aspects of laser-based mass spectrometry and the different kinds of analyses, which may be done. A selected number of applications are then given which allows the reader to consider both the capabilities and the drawbacks of laser mass spectrometry to analyze dust environmental particles. Critical discussion is focused on comparison and new trends of these aerosol analytical techniques.