The authors identified occupational risk factors of shoe repairers and measured their exposures to organic solvents, dust, chromium, degradation products of synthetic shoe materials, and noise. Exposures were measured in 11 shops selected from the workplaces of 82 repairers who responded to a questionnaire about their work environments. The questions dealt with, e.g., chemicals used, work related diseases, perceived hazards in the environment, ventilation, and use of personal protective equipment. Solvent vapor concentration averaged 1.95 (range 0.01-13.2) times the occupational limit (OL) of the mixture during gluing, with higher levels in facilities with no mechanical ventilation. TWA concentrations of organic solvents averaged 0.34 (range 0.01-1.23) times OLs in the breathing-zone samples. Of all shoe repair shops in Finland, 30% had no mechanical ventilation. Concentrations of airborne particles were 0.07-1.01 mg/m3, and those of insoluble and hexavalent chromium 0.10-0.32 and 0.01-0.08 microg/m3, respectively, near roughing, scoring and finishing machines. Several polymer degradation products were present in the air during machining of shoes. Ventilation exchange rates in shops with natural ventilation were less than once/hour. The repairers' average exposure to noise was below 85 dB. They reported many work-related diseases such as rhinitis (prevalence 21%), musculoskeletal disorders (16%), and dermatitis (9%). Measured dust concentrations were low, but the shoe repairers considered dust to be the most common hazard.