Different atmospheric aerosol samples were collected on three types of filters. From both of the loaded and clean areas of each kind of filter, different disks were cut and investigated by XRF, PIXE and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The blank concentration values of the elements Al, Si, P, S, Cl, K, Ca, Sc, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Br and Pb in the three types of filter are discussed. It is found that for trace elemental analysis, the Nuclepore membrane filters are the most suitable for sampling. These filters have much lower blank element concentrations than the glass fiber and ash free filters. It was found also that PIXE is a more reliable analytical technique for atmospheric aerosol particles than the other methods used.