Concentrations of aluminium (Al), arsenic (As), calcium (Ca), cadmium (Cd), chlorine (Cl), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), phosphorus (P), lead (Pb), sulphur (S), silicon (Si) and zinc (Zn) were measured by X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF) in Scots pine needles collected from transects across Finnish Lapland and the Kola Peninsula in Russia. Ni, Cu, Fe, P and S concentrations were significantly higher in the needles collected in the vicinity of the smelters in Monchegorsk, whereas Mn and Zn decreased towards Monchegorsk. No distinct increase of S or decrease of Mn and Zn concentrations in the needles were observed when approaching Nikel. Foliar S concentrations were higher in C needles than in C+1 needles, even in plots close to the smelters. The effect of the emissions from the smelters was clearly seen in the needle chemistry up to 50 km away from smelters and was still perceivable over 100 km away.