An analytical method has been developed for determination of palladium in PM2.5 fractions of urban airborne particulate matter by solid sampling high-resolution continuum source electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry. For the optimization of the experimental conditions, a road dust certified reference material (BCR-723) was used. The influence of pyrolysis and atomization temperatures, the amount of sample introduced into the graphite furnace and the addition of acids, surfactants and modifiers on the analytical signal of Pd were investigated. The limit of detection, calculated based on three times the standard deviations of analytical signals obtained during the atomization of 10 blank filter pieces, was 0.07 pg/m(3). Since the amount of solid certified reference material introduced into the graphite furnace was about 50-2000 times lower than those required in order to obtain the certified value, the precision was relatively poor. This analytical method was applied for investigation of urban airborne particulate matter collected onto quartz fiber filters by high-volume aerosol samplers in the city center of Istanbul (Turkey) and Budapest (Hungary). The measured Pd concentrations changed in the range of 0.22-0.64 and 0.25-0.86 pg/m(3) in Istanbul and Budapest, respectively. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.