The exchange of semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOC) across the air–soil interface is one of the most important processes determining the environmental fate and human exposure of these compounds. The main processes contributing to air–soil exchange of SVOC are dry deposition (both by vapour adsorption and in association with particles), wet deposition (by precipitation scavenging of vapour- and particle-sorbed chemicals) and volatilisation from the soil. These processes are reviewed and evaluated and theoretical approaches to describe them are presented. Suggestions for further research are highlighted. The review focuses on persistent, non-ionic organics (such as PCB, PAH and PCDD/F).