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Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Print version ISSN 0042-9686


JOOSTE, Pieter L.. Assessment of the iodine concentration in table salt at the production stage in South Africa. Bull World Health Organ [online]. 2003, vol.81, n.7, pp.517-521. ISSN 0042-9686.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the iodine content of iodized salt at the production stage, to assess the perceptions and knowledge of salt producers about the prevention and control of iodine deficiency, and to examine the internal quality control procedures used during iodization in South Africa. METHOD: Salt samples were collected for iodine analysis by titration from the 12 producers iodizing salt in South Africa. Information on the producers' knowledge of iodine deficiency disorders and on internal quality control was obtained by means of questionnaires. FINDINGS: The legal requirement of 40-60 ppm iodine was met in 30.9% of salt samples; 57.9% contained more than 30 ppm iodine; 34.8% contained under 20 ppm iodine. There were shortcomings in perceptions and knowledge about iodine deficiency disorders and in the internal quality control procedures of a substantial proportion of the producers. CONCLUSION: In order to encourage and support salt producers to achieve optimal iodization there should be an information, education and communication strategy aimed at improving knowledge of iodine deficiency disorders and at raising the standard of internal quality control procedures. External monitoring should continue.

Keywords : Sodium chloride, Dietary [analysis]; Sodium chloride, Dietary [therapeutic use]; Iodine [deficiency]; Deficiency diseases [prevention and control]; Chemical industry [standards]; Knowledge [attitudes]; Knowledge [practice]; Quality control; South Africa.

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