BAPTA was iontophoresed or allowed to diffuse into the scala media of the first turn of the guinea pig cochlea via pipettes inserted through the round window and basilar membrane. Cochlear action potential (CAP) thresholds for basal turn frequencies were elevated, scala media cochlear microphonic in response to a 207 Hz tone were drastically reduced and the distortion products 2f1–f2 and f2–f2 in response to primaries set at 18 and 21.6 kHz were eliminated or severely reduced. The animals were recovered and the above measurements repeated between 24 and 240 h after the application of BAPTA. In all animals thresholds for basal turn frequencies remained elevated, and the distortion components were severely reduced. The endolymphatic potential (EP), measured through the basilar membrane on recovery, was not significantly different from the values measured before BAPTA was applied.If the effect of BAPTA, in lowering endolymphatic Ca2+ concentration, is restricted to the destruction of tip links, as has been shown in many other preparations, then these results suggest that this effect has permanent consequences, either because the tip links failed to regenerate or because their destruction precipitated the degeneration of OHCs. These results may have a bearing on the mechanisms behind permanent threshold shift.