The Effect of Sodium Bromide on Thyroid Function
The thyroid-toxic properties of bromide ion were first observed more than a decade ago by Van Logten and co-workers (1974), studying the toxicological effects of sodium bromide. Although bromide ion is widely distributed in nature, forming a natural constituent of soil, plants, and animals, the main route of exposure of man stems from bromide residues present in food commodities as a result of the abundant use of bromide-containing pesticides, like methylbromide and ethylene dibromide, for soil fumigation in intensive horticulture and for postharvest treatment. Additional exposure may arise from the use of bromide-containing medicines. Although the prescibed use of these drugs is obsolete, in many countries over-the-counter sedatives still contain bromide. Thus uncontrolled self-medication may lead to chronic bromide intoxications (Van Leeuwen and Sangster 1987). The above-mentioned exposure of man to bromide was the reason for the interest of toxicologists in this ion.
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