Abstract : To evaluate whether fine air particles could be involved in the occurrence of atopy and allergic diseases, we performed a cross-sectional epidemiological survey involving primary schoolchildren living in six French towns with contrasted air pollution levels. Air pollution was measured during a week in the school yards and by standard air monitoring networks. Children get an examination in school looking for atopic dermatitis and bronchial hyperresponsiveness assessed by a standardized run test. Besides, parents or guardians provided past medical history and environmental data, especially on passive smoking. Overall, 5,338 children, aged 10.4 (+/-0.7) years, coming from 108 different schools and 401 different classes were included in the survey. Taking into account potential confounders, high exposure to proximity PM(2.5) was linked to a higher point prevalence of atopic dermatitis and hyperresponsiveness, to a higher cumulative prevalence of allergic asthma and a higher sensitization rate to common indoor allergens. Thus, these data suggest that chronic exposure to urban fine particles could be a risk factor for atopy, hyperresponsiveness and asthma.