The inhibition of methane oxidation by cell suspensions of Methylococcus capsulatus (Bath) exposed to hydrochlorofluorocarbon 21 (HCFC-21; difluorochloromethane [CHF2Cl]), HCFC-22 (fluorodichloromethane [CHFCl2]), and various fluorinated methanes was investigated. HCFC-21 inhibited methane oxidation to a greater extent than HCFC-22, for both the particulate and soluble methane monooxygenases. Among the fluorinated methanes, both methyl fluoride (CH3F) and difluoromethane (CH2F2) were inhibitory while fluoroform (CHF3) and carbon tetrafluoride (CF4) were not. The inhibition of methane oxidation by HCFC-21 and HCFC-22 was irreversible, while that by methyl fluoride was reversible. The HCFCs also proved inhibitory to methanol dehydrogenase, which suggests that they disrupt other aspects of C1 catabolism in addition to methane monooxygenase activity.