N. 114 - The Gamma Irradiation
Gamma rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation-like x-rays, but with higher energy. The primary industrial sources of gamma rays are radionuclide elements such as Cobalt 60, which emit gamma rays during radioactive decay. Gamma rays pass readily through plastics and kill bacteria by breaking the covalent bonds of bacterial DNA. They are measured in units called kiloGrays (kGy). Gamma irradiation provides a number of bene ts in cost and sterility assurance. It can be applied under safe, wellde ned, and controlled operating parameters, and is not a heat- or moisturegenerating process. Consequently, there is no heat stress and condensate drainage or outgassing is not required. Most importantly, there is no residual radioactivity after irradiation.