Exposure data on biocides are relatively rare in published literature, especially for secondary exposure. This is also the case for antifouling exposure. Therefore, a field study was carried out measuring exposure to antifouling paints. Both primary exposure (rolling and spraying) and secondary exposure (during sand blasting) were studied. Exposure during rolling was measured in boatyards where paints containing dichlofluanid (DCF) were applied. Spraying was measured in dockyards (larger than boatyards) where paints containing copper were applied. Furthermore, during sand blasting the removal of old paint layers containing copper was measured. A total of 54 datasets was collected, both for inhalation and dermal exposure data. For paint and stripped paint bulk analyses were performed. The following values are all arithmetic means of the datasets. Inhalation of copper amounted to 3 mg m-3 during spraying and to 0.8 mg m-3 during sand blasting. Potential body exposure loading amounted to 272 mg h-1 copper during spraying and 33 mg h-1 during sand blasting. For dichlofluanid the inhalation exposure loading was 0.14 mg m-3 during rolling, whereas the potential body exposure loading was 267 mg h-1 and potential hand exposure loading 277 mg h-1. The results for primary exposure compare well to the very few public data available. For the secondary exposure (sand blasting) no comparable data were available. The present study shows that the exposure loading should be considered more extensively, including applicable protective gear. In this light the findings for the potmen during sand blasting suggest that personal protective equipment should be (re)considered carefully. © The Author 2006. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society.