The effects on Chlorella sp. and Phaeodactylum tricornutum of two industrial wastewaters known to contain the herbicide residues of Trifluralin and Propanil have been determined by monitoring the number of cells, the chlorophyll fluorescence and the carbon dioxide assimilation simultaneously for a period of 14 days. The growth of the diatom, Phaeodactylum tricornutum, was inhibited by concentrations of herbicidal waste of the order of 0.1-0.5%, apparently because the rate of reproduction was reduced. Chlorella sp. cells, on the other hand, whilst dramatically inhibited by 1% concentrations of herbicidal waste, were able to recover over a period of 14 days. If discharged at concentrations below 0.01%, the industrial wastes appeared not to affect phytoplankton.