White material to be searched by officials

White material to be searched by officials

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
White material to be searched by officials

The sticky white substance is a new nightmare for Dilovası residents, covering even vegetable gardens. DHA photo

The origins of a sticky white substance spread over a wide area including the tops of trees, plants and cars in the Dilovası district of Kocaeli province will be investigated by the Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK). Kocaeli Gov. Ercan Topaca said the factory thought to be the source of the white substance might be closed down if necessary.

The rate of cancer among Dilovasi residents is 30 times above average for Turkey. Dilovasi is infamous for it industrial factories and residential areas being close together.

Research commissions have been formed at the Turkish Parliament to research the reasons behind the high number of cancer cases in Dliovası, but for now the factories remain in their places and continue to operate as normal.

The sticky white substance was a new nightmare for Dilovası residents, covering everything including produce in vegetable gardens, Doğan news agency reported. The unknown substance was first seen five days ago on tree tops, and then it was noticed on plants and laundry hung out to dry. After local news outlets reported that the substance could not be removed even after an item was washed, the Kocaeli Governor’s Office went into action.

Environmental teams from the Kocaeli Governor’s Office took samples of the substance from various sites around Dilovası and sent them to TÜBİTAK. The authorities said it was the first time they had seen an incident like this and an explanation can be made only after the scientific tests.

Residents react fiercely

Alaattin İllik, a resident in Dilovası who owns a greenhouse, said all the leaves on his cabbage and leeks were covered with the white substance. “My products were worth at least 20,000 Turkish Liras, but they are all destroyed now. I cannot sell these to anyone. I have to throw them away. This substance also covered the windows of my greenhouse and it blocks the sunshine.”

İllik said he had to call the governor’s office dozens of times before a team was sent out on the fifth day to take samples. He said he would immediately sue the factory that released the substance into the air.

Gov. Topaca said it was impossible to give the name of a factory without the test results. “Our teams have taken samples. All the samples will be delivered to TÜBİTAK. There are many factories here. The source of the substance will be disclosed soon enough. We can close the factory that caused the spread of the white substance if necessary,” Topaca said.