To develop the whole effluent toxicity testing methods (WET), embryo larval stage toxicity test using Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) was conducted to evaluate an effluent from a banknote printing plant (BPP). The method is based on acute toxicity using endpoint of 96-h larval morality and on chronic toxicity using endpoints such as the time to hatch, hatching success, deformity, growth rate, swim-up failure, accumulative mortality and sexual ratio. In test for 96-h larval mortality, LC50 (the concentration was lethal to 50% of newly hatching medaka larvae) was 72.9%. In chronic toxicity test, newly fertilized embryos (<5-h old) were exposed to 1%, 6.25%, 12.5%, 25%, 50% effluent concentrations and to 200 mug/l BPA in a 24-h static renewal system at 25+/-1 degrees C until 15 day post-hatch. The results showed that all chronic endpoints were significantly different from the control at 50% dilution (p < 0.01). Embryos began to show lesions on 4th day at higher concentrations (12.5%, 25%, 50% BPP effluent concentrations). Treatment group of 25% dilution showed delayed time to hatch. A reduction in body weight was observed at 25% dilutions for males and females, respectively. Deformities were observed in newly hatched larvae at 25% and 50% BPP effluent concentrations. At 25% dilution, sex ratio of larvae was alternated and there was feminization phenomenon. We conclude that embryo larval stage test using medaka is feasible to evaluate both acute and chronic toxicities and potential endocrine disrupting activity of industrial effluents.