Particulate matter (PM) emitted during laser additive manufacturing with stainless steel powder materials has been studied in detail. Three different additive manufacturing techniques were studied: selective laser melting, direct metal deposition and laser cladding. Gas flow and temperature fields accompanying the processes were numerically modeled for understanding particle growth and oxidation. Transmission and scanning electron microscopy were used for primary particle and PM characterization. The PM collected in the atmosphere during manufacturing consisted of complex aggregates/agglomerates with fractal-like geometries. The overwhelming number of particles formed in the three processes had equivalent projected area diameters within the 4-16 nm size range, with median sizes of 8.0, 9.4 and 11.2 nm. The primary particles were spherical in shape and consisted of oxides of the main steel alloying elements. Larger primary particles (> 30 nm) were not fully oxidized, but where characterized by a metallic core and an oxidic surface shell.