The Alata Horticultural Research Institute, Çukurova University and the Tarsus Municipality are conducting the project, which will last three years.The Ministry of Agriculture invested 33,500 Turkish Liras for the project, which will be conducted in Tarsus and Erdemli, said Dr. Ayhan Aydın, the project officer at the Alata Horticultural Research Institute. With this project, it will be possible to research the effects on people and on the environment of heavy metals coming from exhaust gases.
"Some of the ornamental plants may have a crucial role in cleaning the pollution stemming from sources like heavy metals and pesticides," Aydın said. "With this project, it will be possible to use these plants in monitoring the pollution deriving from heavy metals. While choosing and planning these plants, we will evaluate the accumulation of pollution sources and the adequacy of the endurance of these plants toward these sources. It will be possible to decrease pollution this way."The project has been launched in busy spots of Tarsus, he said. This is the first time that the Ministry of Agriculture has launched such a project, Aydın said, adding that the project aims to help form a healthier and cleaner environment.
Aydın said ornamental plants that will be used in the research are being cultivated in the Alata Horticultural Research Institute and that the plants will be analyzed every six months during the research. Some 390 plants out of eight different kinds have been planted, he said, adding that the same operation may be launched nationwide following the results of the research.
Tarsus Mayor Burhanettin Kocamaz, one of the partners of the project, noted that they cultivated the plants congesting heavy metals in two different busy areas. From time to time, leaf samples will be taken and analyzed, Kocamaz said.