Heavy Metals and Cardiovascular Disease on Wetlands
Heavy metals are metal elements with a relatively high density compared to water. One area that is vulnerable to heavy metal pollution is the wetland environment. In South Kalimantan, an alkaline land area, pollution is mainly caused by mining activities, especially coal mining and oil palm plantation activities. The presence of heavy metals in the sediments of the Martapura River in South Kalimantan, which have passed the threshold for sediment contamination, includes Mn, Fe and Hg. The potential link between chronic heavy metal exposure and cardiovascular disease (CVD) has several implications. Although the cardiovascular system is not usually viewed as the main target of heavy metal toxicity, imbalances in antioxidant protection mechanisms lead to oxidative stress in cells as a major effect of heavy metal exposure. Heavy metals can cause oxidative stress by producing reactive oxygen species (ROS). Heavy metals are associated with an increase in systemic inflammation. They can lead to impaired immune function and accumulation of immune complexes, causing CVD, including the uncontrolled release of inflammatory cytokines, kidney damage, and central nervous system stimulation. However, some research results are contradictory and say no relationship exists between heavy metals, such as mercury, and cardiovascular disease. The presence of heavy metals is still a health risk in wetlands. Metal content that crosses this threshold can be a cause or a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The effects of heavy metal content, such as mercury, on health, especially cardiovascular disease, are still not fully understood, requiring further investigation and research.