Abstract Pentachlorophenol (PCP) was fed to rats at dietary levels of 0, 25, 50 and 200 ppm for 12 weeks. Growth was decreased in the group of female rats fed 200 ppm. The treatment had no effect on food intake and behaviour. Liver weight was increased at the 50 and 200 ppm dose levels accompanied by an increased activity of microsomal liver enzymes. In week 6 higher haemoglobin and haematocrit values were found in the groups of males fed 50 and 200 ppm. In week 11 the haemoglobin values and the number of erythrocytes were decreased in the same groups of males. A possible explanation is discussed. A striking dose-related decrease of calcium deposits in the kidney is found. The no-toxic-effect level for all criteria is considered to be 25 ppm.