Bromine is a halogen, in the same periodic-table family as iodine. However, unlike iodine, it is not body-friendly. Bromine was introduced into daily life in the 1970s, in flame retardants, pesticides and food additives. It is prevalent in plastic coatings today (e.g., cash-register receipts). One drastic and hidden source of bromine is in commercially produced bread and flour. Bromine supposedly "improves" flour by enhancing the performance of gluten while the dough is worked: (from WiseGeek.com) It yields dependable results ... stronger, more elastic dough which can stand up to bread hooks and other commercial baking tools. Home bakers may choose to use it for ... the same reason.
Bromate is what makes commercial breads look so delicious: puffy, fluffy and light.
Before potassium bromate became a baker's choice, potassium and calcium iodate were used instead, but bromate took over as a dough conditioner ... see more here. It's hard to believe that a staple like bread contains such a powerful toxin; the industry tells us that bromate "bakes off," but this is not necessarily true. From The Iodine Crisis by Lynne Farrow: Event 1 occurred in the 1970s when our major source of dietary iodine, the iodate form, used to fortify flour and baked goods, was removed. Event 2 occured when potassium bromate, a form of bromine, was added. Yes, an anti-iodine ... replaced iodine ... The bromination of America didn't stop with flour. ... Fire-retardant chemical dust escapes from products like rugs, upholstery, stuffed animals, mattresses, cars and electronics we use every day.
See AvatarProducts.com for iodine (a $20 bottle of nascent iodine is available -- great deal!). Iodine drops displace bromine from your cell receptors.