In the 1950’s, Brazil adopted the iodination of the cooking salt to defeat chronic iodine deficiency diseases. The Federal government has been performing national inquiries periodically about the occurrence of endemic goiter in schools, adopting the urinary excretion of iodine and the thyroid volume as result indicators. The determination of the iodine concentration in the cooking salt has also been used as a determinant factor in these results analysis. This bibliographic review aims to present the actions taken by the Brazilian government in relation to iodine deficiency since the beginning of iodization policy of culinary salt in the 50’s decade, the results achieved and the situation of excess iodine found in the Brazilian population at the present time. These measures systematically adopted by the Brazilian government, supported in laws, ordinances and ministry resolutions, have shown to be efficient instruments in the reduction of endemic goiter. Nowadays, the prevalence of goiter in the Brazilian population is between the parameters established by the World Health Organization, which means less than 5% of the population affected. Nevertheless, the last survey made by the Health Ministry highlighted an excessive ingestion of iodine, exposing the population to other health risks associated to this excess.