Irradiation is used to sterilize household products like Band-Aids, cotton balls, contact lens solution, baby pacifiers and many packaging items, sterilize medical products such as surgical gloves, destroy bacteria in cosmetics, make non-stick cookware coatings, purify wool, perform security checks on hand luggage at airports and make tires more durable.
Food irradiation has been approved in 41 countries for more than 30 products. Independent scientific committees in Denmark, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Canada and the World Health Organization have endorsed food irradiation.
There are more than 150 irradiation facilities in over 40 countries. An estimated 55 facilities worldwide use food irradiation and related food irradiation research, according to a 1989 Library of Congress Report.