In the last decades, radiation processing has become significant in many industries worldwide. Sterilization, polymer cross-linking and the irradiation of certain food items for hygienization, for example, are well established technologies. Either gamma radiation from isotopic sources or high energy electrons from accelerators are being applied in these processes. With the support of the IAEA, several gamma and electron beam irradiation facilities have been built in developing countries, and some new technologies have been developed and transferred to Member States over the past ten years. The market for disposable medical products has undergone enormous growth, and with it the use of ionizing radiation as a method of sterilization. Currently 40–50% of disposable medical products manufactured in developed countries are radiation sterilized. This publication serves as a status report on recent developments and provides information about the entire field of radiation sterilization. It has been written for professionals and administrators involved in the planning, development, implementation and management of radiation sterilization programmes.
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