Laboratory studies are useful for understanding the behavior of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in soil, although such investigations do not always relate directly to field conditions. Outdoor lysimeter studies may be used to overcome this problem. This work aimed to investigate the behavior of two polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) (fluoranthene and benzo[a]pyrene) and two polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs; congeners 28 and 52) in soil, using lysimeters established in 1990 at the Agrosphere Institute (Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Germany). The two PAHs were in one lysimeter, and the PCBs were in a second lysimeter. A further aim of the study was to determine soil half-lives for each of the contaminants. The overall decline in PAH concentrations was considerably greater than for the PCBs over the 152 month study. The PCBs exhibited greater chemical extractability than the PAHs and were demonstrated to have migrated through the soil column to a greater extent than the PAHs. Loss of PCBs from surface soil was not considered to have been congener specific for the two PCB congeners in this study. The two PAHs varied in their extents of total loss and movement through the soil column. Soil half-lives were determined as 10.9 y for [12C]PCB 28, 11.2 yr for [12C]PCB 52, 2.7 yr for benzo[a]pyrene, and 32 d (phase 1) to 38 yr (phase 2) for fluoranthene. These are shown to disagree with some previous estimates of POP half-lives in soil, suggesting that previous studies underestimated persistence by 10-fold or more.