The fetotoxic effects of perchloroethylene (127184) (PCE) were studied. Pregnant rats were exposed to 900 parts per million (ppm) PCE for 7 hours per day, on days 7 to 13 or 14 to 20 of gestation. A separate group of rats was exposed 7 hours a day during days 14 to 20 of gestation to 100ppm PCE, the current OSHA exposure limit. Seven behavioral tests for measurements of central nervous system functions of the offspring were conducted on days 4 through 46 post partem. Tests included ascent on a wire mesh screen and rotorod balancing, and open field, activity wheel, and avoidance conditioning. Pups from dams exposed to PCE on days 7 to 13 of gestation performed more poorly than controls on the ascent test (days 10 and 14) and on the rotorod test of neuromuscular ability (days 21 and 25). Offspring from dams exposed to PCE on days 14 to 20 of gestation performed more poorly only on day 14 post partum. Later in development, the pups from the 14 to 20 day exposure group were superior to their controls on the rotorod test, and were relatively more active in the open field test. Neurochemical analysis of whole brain from newborn and 21 day old offspring revealed significant reduction in the levels of acetylcholine in 21 day old offspring from both exposure groups, and in the levels of dopamine for the group whose dams were exposed during days 7 to 13 of gestation. No significant differences were observed between the offspring of animals exposed to 100ppm PCE and their controls.