Do salt storage practices affect the iodine content of salt? - A school-based study in North India
Keywords:Iodine Deficiency, Iodised Salt, Parts Per Million (PPM), Salt Storage Practices
Introduction: In India, IDD has been identified as a public health problem. At present best source for iodine supplementation is iodinated salt in the form of "Iodised Salt" containing potassium iodide (KI) and "Iodated Salt" containing potassium iodate (KIO3). Objectives: To find out salt storage practices in the houses and association of storage practices and iodine content. Methods: From 1st to 5th standard children (age group 6–12 years) were the “sampling units.” The required sample was selected by “Multistage sampling” by doing a sub-sampling. The sample size (N) calculated was 879. However, a total of 950 participants were included in the study. To check on spot salt storage practices, 70 families of school children were visited. The iodine content of salt samples was tested with spot testing kit (STK). Results: Out of 950 students, most of them (92.1%) used to take powdered salt. Out of 915 salt samples, collected, 79.0% samples were iodized and only 16.1% of salt samples had >15 ppm iodine content. Salt was kept in containers in 36 (51.4%) houses, but only 6 (8.7%) families were using airtight containers. The percentage of nil iodine was highest in open packets (35.7%). As the distance of salt storage from chullah increased, the level of iodine content was also improved. Conclusions: School children and their families should be told about the importance of taking adequately iodized salt and to follow correct salt storage practices. Sustained IEC activities should be carried out more vigorously to sensitize the students and community.