Iodine deficiency is a major health problem in India. The soil of the subcontinent has little iodine, so food grown on it shows few traces of the element. As a result, all Indians are prone to iodine deficiency disorders. The most popular method of tackling the problem has been to encourage the consumption of iodized salt, which reaches about 91% of Indian households. Even so, some 350 million people remain at risk of iodine deficiency disorders that can lead to goiter, hypothyroidism and even brain damage. Even mild iodine deficiency in pregnant women can result in children being born with cretinism and mental retardation.
Realizing this fact, Grey group, a Singapore based company, were looking for a solution to address iodine deficiency in India when doctors told them that Iodine can be absorbed through the skin. So they came up with an iodine bindi project — named Life Saving Dot-Jeevan Bindi .
Knowing the fact that every Indian woman wears a decorative bindi on forehead, Grey partnered with NGO The Neelvasant Medical Foundation and Research Center to develop an iodine patch bindi under the Talwar Bindi brand. These iodine filled bindis dispense the daily required dosage of iodine to the wearer.
When stuck on the forehead, it delivers the daily required amount of iodine — 100-150 micro grams — to the body by absorption through the skin. The bindi needs to be worn every day for up to eight hours to be effective. It can be worn at night and even by pregnant women.