Elevated frequencies of abnormal embryos in female eelpout Zoarces viviparus have been demonstrated in Danish, Swedish and German monitoring programmes at certain geographic locations with high levels of anthropogenic input. Pollutants present in areas with high malformation frequencies were selected and tested in a controlled laboratory experiment for their potential to induce abnormalities among eelpout embryos upon injection into pregnant eelpout. Tributyltin, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-. p-dioxin, pyrene, nonylphenol, 2,2',4,4'-tetrabromophenylether and heptadecafluorooctanesulfonic acid were tested, either individually or combined. Generally, the chemicals were transferred to eggs and/or embryos. Some of the exposures increased the proportion of broods with more than 10% abnormal or 5% malformed embryos, although the average percentages of abnormal development were not affected. Spinal, cranial and eye deformities were evident, similarly to what is seen in nature. Some of the exposures resulted in increased percentages of females with as well a low reproductive capacity as embryos with a low condition index.