A study on animals published in the March issue of the Public Library of Science showed that many environmental toxins can have negative effects for three generations! The DNA sequence is unaffected but these compounds change the way genes turn on and off. Some of the toxins involved include pesticides such as DEET and permethrin, fungicides, jet fuel, dioxin, plastics and cause epigenetic disease across generations. Transgenerational disease is not unique, but more characteristic of many environmental compounds.
Some of these changes are mediated through epigenetic changes in sperm. It is possible that we'll soon have a way to identify and diagnose exposures through the use of specific epigenetic molecular markers.