A summary of the literature on the nutritional value of iodine in the diet of various forms of life is given. The majority of evidence indicates that iodine is an essential element in plant and animal nutrition. It functions particularly in animal metabolism in the form of thyroxine. The occurrence of iodine in a nature has been briefly discussed. Investigations made in this regard indicate iodine to be almost universally distributed in very minute amounts. Most iodine salts are soluble in water and their distribution is affected by water movements. Results of iodine determinations made during the course of this study support this idea. This investigation also supports the concept that iodine is taken up by life forms and its distribution thereby affected. As one might expect, the problem of the quantitative determination of a substance occurring in such minute amounts presents a difficult problem. A brief outline of the history of the development of analytical methods with particular emphasis on the oxidation of organic material and the liberation of iodine is recorded in this theses. A particular wet ashing method has been investigated and modifications have been made to increase its reliability and simplify its techniques. The modifications involving both the oxidizing process for the destruction of organic material, and the control of the distillation process are based on experimental data and experience gained during this study. The applicability of the method in its modified form to a wide range of materials has been demonstrated experimentally. A limited survey of the iodine content of the soils of a given portion of Utah County has been made and the iodine content correlated with the soil type and alkalinity. The writer is not aware of any other iodine analyses of Utah soils. It is probable that further iodine analyses of soils in the Great Basin area with respect to geologic origin, water movements and soil organisms would yield data of interest in the goiter problem of this area.



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Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Chemistry and Biochemistry



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