Water-based construction paints may have beneficial effects toward man's occupational and general environment when compared to traditional paints that contain large amounts of organic solvents. The aim of this study was to describe the health hazards of the application of these alternative paints. The composition of these paints was obtained by a questionnaire survey among the main producers and importers in The Netherlands. Physicochemical parameters and toxicity data of the constituents were used to estimate occupational and environmental health hazards. Mucous membrane of skin irritation and sensitization are predicted to be the most frequently occurring health hazards after contact with these paints during professional or do-it-yourself application. Health hazards from environmental pollution may be irritation of the mucous membranes when the indoor environment is painted and fish mortality due to slowly degradable polyacrylate binders. The health hazards can be reduced by replacing some toxic compounds with less toxic ones and by hygienic (ventilation, skincare, no cleaning of application materials under the tap) measures.