Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 165–170 | Cite as

The Illusion of Environmental Iodine Deficiency

  • A.G. Stewart
  • J. Carter
  • A. Parker
  • B.J. Alloway


The distribution of endemic goitre in England and Wales was compared with the distribution of environmental iodine (atmospheric deposition, soil, surface water). Despite a very clear goitre belt through the west of England and Wales there was no patterning in the environmental iodine distribution. A clear seasonal variation in depositional iodine exists, with an unusually high concentration of iodine in March 1997. The temporal variation in iodine concentration is determined at the monthly and not the annual level. The presence of endemic goitre is no indicator of how iodine is distributed in the environment or vice versa!

deficiency goitre iodine prevention 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Delange, F.: 1998, Risks and benefits of iodine supplementation, Lancet 351, 923-924.Google Scholar
  2. EDINA: 2000, Edinburgh data and information access, (accessed 7 July 2000).Google Scholar
  3. Fuge, R. and Johnson, C.C.: 1986, The geochemistry of iodine-a review, Environmental Geochemistry and Health 8, 31-54.Google Scholar
  4. Johnson, C.C.: 2000, Soil iodine database,, in: Johnson, C.C. (webmaster) (accessed 12 July 2000).Google Scholar
  5. Maberley, G.F., Eastman, C.J. and Corcoran, J.M.: 1981, Effect of iodination of a village water-supply on goitre size and thyroid function, Lancet ii, 1270-1272.Google Scholar
  6. Murray, M.M., Ryle, J.A., Simpson, B.W. and Wilson, D.C.: 1948, Thyroid enlargement and other changes related to the mineral content of drinking water, Memorandum, 18, London, Medical Research Council.Google Scholar
  7. Rae, J.E. and Malik, S.A.: 1996, The determination of iodine in geochemical samples: the use of pyrohydrolytic decomposition, Chemosphere 33, 2121-2128.Google Scholar
  8. Stewart, A.G.: 1990, Drifting continents and endemic goitre in northern Pakistan, British Medical Journal 200, 1507-1512.Google Scholar
  9. Stocks, P.: 1928, Goitre in the English school child, Quarterly Journal of Medicine Jan., 223-258.Google Scholar
  10. WHO MDIS: 1993, World Health Organisation, Micronutrient Deficiency Information System, in: Global Prevalence of Iodine Deficiency Disorders, World Health Organisation, Geneva.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • A.G. Stewart
    • 1
  • J. Carter
    • 2
  • A. Parker
    • 3
  • B.J. Alloway
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Public HealthWirral Health AuthorityBirkenheadUK
  2. 2.School of Environmental and Applied SciencesUniversity of DerbyUK
  3. 3.Postgraduate Institute of SedimentologyUniversity of ReadingUK
  4. 4.Department of Soil Science ResearchUniversity of ReadingUK

Personalised recommendations