Domino Effect

A story of iodine deficiency in Cambodia illustrates how events in one country can impact public health in another.
 
Starting in 1999, UNICEF and other donors helped Cambodia boost iodized salt users from 13% of households to 70%. But when the government and salt producers became responsible for iodination in 2010, enforcement grew lax. The next year, the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, which produces 1/3 of global iodine, sent prices skyrocketing.
 
Smuggling of non-iodized salt and false labeling became rampant. By 2014, less than 25% of tested salt met government standards. Concentrations of iodine in schoolchildren’s urine dropped 30%.
 
Source: The New York Times

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