BACKGROUND FireMaster® 550 (FM 550) is the second most commonly used flame retardant (FR) product in consumer goods and has been detected in household dust samples. However, neurobehavioral effects associated with exposure have not been characterized in detail. We investigated the behavioral effects of FM 550 in zebrafish to facilitate the integration of the cellular and molecular effects of FM 550 with its behavioral consequences. The effects of developmental FM 550 exposure on zebrafish larvae swimming shortly after the end of exposure as well as the persisting effects of this exposure on adolescent behavior were studied. In addition, the acute effects of FM 550 on behavior with exposure during adolescence in zebrafish were studied. METHODS Developmental exposure to 0, 0.01, 0.1 or 1 mg/L of FM 550 via immersion spanned 0-5 days post fertilization, with larval testing on day 6 and adolescent testing on days 40-45. Acute adolescent (45 dpf) exposure was to 0, 1.0 or 3.0 mg/L of FM 550 via immersion, for 24 h, with testing 2 h or 1 week later. The vehicle condition was colony tank water with .0004% (developmental) or .0012% (adolescent) DMSO. Zebrafish behavior was characterized across several domains including learning, social affiliation, sensorimotor function, predator escape, and novel environment exploration. RESULTS Persisting effects of developmental FM 550 exposure included a significant (p<0.01) reduction in social behavior among all dose groups. Acute FM 550 exposure during adolescence caused hypoactivity and reduced social behavior (p's<0.05) when the fish were tested 2 h after exposure. These effects were attenuated at the 1 week post exposure testing point DISCUSSION Taken together, these data indicate that FM 550 may cause persisting neurobehavioral alterations to social behavior in the absence of perturbations along other behavioral domains and that developmental exposure is more costly to the organism than acute adolescent exposure.