Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is an organic pollutant abundant in the environment, and the potential toxicity of which is causing great concern. The oxidative and apoptotic potential of PFOA was assessed in a shortterm in vivo zebrafish assay in this study. Activities of antioxidative enzymes, including superoxide dismutase and catalase, were significantly altered in PFOA-treated embryos. Lipid peroxidation was increased with exposure to higher concentrations. Expression profiles of certain genes related to cellular apoptosis were then investigated. The expression of p53 and Baxwere partially increased, which could be linked to PFOA-induced cell apoptosis in zebrafish. The overall results demonstrated that PFOA could induce oxidative stress and alter the expression of genes involve in apoptosis, resulting in oxidative damagesin zebrafish embryos.