Taranto (in the Apulia Region of southern Italy) has been included in a list of the most polluted sites of national interest because of its large industrial area that is situated near the urban centre. The impact of this on urban air quality has been evaluated by monitoring PM2.5 and PM10 at the industrial site of ‘via Orsini’ and the urban station of ‘via Dante’. At both sites, the temporal distribution and chemical composition of PM, in terms of PAHs and element concentrations, were used to characterize the air quality in the urban area and to deduce the possible and theoretical carcinogenic indices, and thus the impact on human health. High PM concentrations were found to be caused by wind coming from the north (industrial area), and during days when the wind was from this direction the PAH and elemental concentrations (such as iron, manganese and zinc) were the highest of the sampling period. These data confirm the impact of this industrial area, in particular its steel plant activities, on urban air quality in Taranto. In order to determine the source contributions to PM levels at the two investigated sites, Principal Component Analysis was applied to the collected data. Statistical investigations also included PAH and elemental concentrations determined at two other sites in Apulia Region, characterized by traffic and biomass burning sources. These investigations made it possible to distinguish the samples collected in via Dante and via Orsini from those collected at the two other sites, confirming the effects of industrial activities on urban air quality in Taranto.