Iodine as a trace element is an essential nutrient for human growth and development. Its potential impact on manpower development in third world countries are of special concern, primarily due to iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) such as goiter, hypothyroidism, and cretinism. IDD of mild to moderate severity are still found in Malaysia. The prevalence ranges from almost zero in many developed urban areas to more than 90% in some rural parts of Malaysia, especially in Sabah and Sarawak. The endemias were associated with low urinary excretion of iodine among the population, indicating poor iodine intake and low iodine content in the environment. Water and salt iodination strategies are being planned to eradicate the disease by the year 2000.