This paper presents a comprehensive review of the mechanisms responsible for the transfer of atmospheric particulate deposition and soil particulate re-suspension onto vegetation. The nature of atmospheric aerosols and dry/wet particulate deposition are reviewed, together with information from the literature on radionuclides as tracers of the air particle/soil particle to vegetation transfer processes. Information from these fields is used to make inferences about the potential significance of these pathways in supplying particle-bound semi-volatile organic chemicals (e.g. polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans, polychlorinated biphenyls) to vegetation. Retention of compounds on particles brought to the above-ground plant surfaces is discussed. In the absence of definitive field/experimental studies, calculations are made drawing on the literature data to estimate the contributions of atmospheric and soil particle-bound organic contaminants to the plant concentration. These show that depending on the site-specific, species-specific and compound-specific scenarios considered, particulate-bound inputs may be negligible or may dominate the supply of organic contaminants to the above-ground portion of plants. However, field/experimental studies and direct measurements are needed to provide reliable quantitative data on this topic.