This research investigates heavy metal pollution around one of the most important mining areas in Turkey, the Murgul mining, by means of analyzing moss and soil samples collected in the neighborhood of the copper mining at different distances. Energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) spectrometry (Epsilon 5, PANalytical, Almelo, The Netherlands) is utilized in the experiments. The results have indicated that the both moss and soil samples contain Aluminum, Vanadium, Chromium, Manganese, Iron, Nickel, Copper, Zinc, Arsenic and Lead. The comparison of the heavy metal concentrations with the typical measurements in the world and with the limit values for the human health has revealed the critical heavy metal pollution levels in the region, where one of Turkey's first environmental spills was also observed. The possible consequences of these results are briefly discussed from the point of potential hazards to ecology and human health. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.