A Simplex search was used to locate an optimum for an ultrasonic extraction of trace elements from atmospheric particulates collected on glass fiber high-volume sampler filters. The optimized procedure produced quantitative results for 13 elements with precisions of 10% or less, and accuracies of 95% or better, while providing the analyst with a more rapid, inexpensive and less hazardous method than traditional boiling-acid extractions. The procedure has become an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated equivalent method to EPA's lead reference procedure. Results are provided for split sample comparisons on real particulate samples, as well as for synthetic spikes and National Bureau of Standard's Standard Reference Material No. 1648 analyzed by inductively coupled argon plasma optical emission spectrometry, neutron activation analysis, and/or atomic absorption spectrophotometry using other extraction methods.