The aim of this study was to investigate the correlation between veratrate degradation, veratric acid concentration and cell density in Rhodococcus erythropolis cultures. The optimum culture conditions for veratrate demethylation proved to be a cell density of A 660=1 and a concentration of 0.02% veratrate. All the products of demethylation (i.e. vanillic and protocatechuic acids) were found to be present and correlated with the appearance of high levels of free radicals and formaldehyde after contact of the cells with veratrate. Demethylation was accompanied by oscillatory changes in the levels of endogenous oxygen uptake and phenolic products. Changes in veratrate concentration and cell density caused a disturbance in the demethylation process and also in the efficiency of phenolics, formaldehyde and reactive oxygen species.