The effect of the presence of a surfactant on the activity of a mixture of environmental estrogens was assessed. In their natural habitat, fish are subject not only to exposure to mixtures of estrogenic compounds, as has been addressed in previous publications, but also to other confounding factors (chemical, physical and biological), which may, in theory, affect their responses to such compounds. To assess the potential for such interference, the commonly occurring surfactant, linear alkylbenzene sulfonate (LAS), was applied to the yeast estrogen screen at various concentrations, independently and together with a mixture of estrogens at constant concentrations. LAS enhanced the estrogenic activity of the mixture, an effect which became less pronounced over the course of time. This information was used to design an in vivo study to assess induction of vitellogenin in fathead minnows exposed to the same mixture of estrogens plus LAS. A similar trend was observed, that is, the response was enhanced, but the effect became less pronounced as the study progressed. However, the enhanced response in vivo occurred only at the highest concentration of LAS tested (362 μg/L), and was transient because it was no longer apparent by the end of the study. Although LAS is a significant contaminant in terms of both concentration and frequency of detection in the aquatic environment, these data do not suggest that it will have a significant impact on the response of fish to environmental estrogens. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.