Size distributions of 29 elements in aerosols collected at urban, rural and curbside sites in Beijing were studied. High levels of Mn, Ni, As, Cd and Pb indicate the pollution of toxic heavy metals cannot be neglected in Beijing. Principal component analysis (PCA) indicates 4 sources of combustion emission, crust related sources, traffic related sources and volatile species from coal combustion. The elements can be roughly divided into 3 groups by size distribution and enrichment factors method (EFs). Group 1 elements are crust related and mainly found within coarse mode including Al, Mg, Ca, Sc, Ti, Fe, Sr, Zr and Ba; Group 2 elements are fossil fuel related and mostly concentrated in accumulation mode including S, As, Se, Ag, Cd, Tl and Pb; Group 3 elements are multi-source related and show multi-mode distribution including Be, Na, K, Cr, Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Ga, Mo, Sn and Sb. The EFs of Be, S, Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, Ga, Se, Mo, Ag, Cd, Sb, Tl and Pb show higher values in winter than in summer indicating sources of coal combustion for heating in winter. The abundance of Cu and Sb in coarse mode is about 2-6 times higher at curbside site than at urban site indicating their traffic sources. Coal burning may be the major source of Pb in Beijing since the phase out of leaded gasoline, as the EFs of Pb are comparable at both urban and curbside sites, and about two times higher in winter than that in summer.