Biodegradation of the mixed inhibitory substrates, 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and para-chloro-ortho-cresol (PCOC) was studied in aerobic batch cultures. Each substrate added beyond certain concentrations inhibited the degradation of the other. This mutual inhibition was found to be enhanced by 2,4-dichlorophenol (2,4-DCP) which is an intermediate metabolic product of 2,4-D. When 2,4-DCP accumulated to approximatelY 40 mg/l degradation of all compounds in the mixed 2,4-D and PCOC substrate system was completely inhibited. The degradation of 2,4-D and PCOC individually was also found to be inhibited by elevated concentrations of 2,4-DCP added externally, while PCOC inhibited the utilization of the intermediate.