A multigenerational test with Chironomus riparius was performed to assess long-term effects on life-traits of exposure to selected perfluoroalkyl compounds: perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS). These persistent contaminants are widespread in aquatic ecosystems at low concentrations, possibly exerting long-term toxicity. Larvae of C. riparius of a native population were exposed for 10 generations to 10 μg/L nominal concentrations of PFOS, PFOA, and PFBS, comparable with the maximum values found in European rivers. All treatments showed reduced growth at most/several generations. No effects on survival, development, and reproduction were found. A final tolerance-induction test was performed exposing the pre-exposed experimental cohorts to 100 µg/L PFOS and 150 µg/L PFOA for a whole life cycle. Factorial analysis of variance revealed no difference between treatments (i.e., PFOS vs PFOA), indicating no induced tolerance. Instead, organisms pre-exposed to PFBS were the most stressed, followed by those pre-exposed to PFOA and PFOS, with earlier emergence and reduced adult weight. The results may be related to general stress and genetic erosion induced by long-term laboratory culture, but also to long-term toxicant exposure. However, no effects at the population level (population growth rate) were proved, and thus a toxicity risk in real ecosystems at the tested concentrations seems unlikely. Environ Toxicol Chem 2019;00:1-12. © 2019 SETAC.