ISO/ASTM 51940 outlines dosimetric procedures to be followed for the radiation sterilization of live insects for use in pest management programmes. The primary use of irradiated, reproductively sterile insects is in the Sterile Insect Technique, where large numbers of sterile insects are released into the field to mate with and thus control pest populations of the same species. A secondary use of irradiated insects is as benign hosts for rearing insect parasitoids. If followed, the procedures outlined in this International Standard will help to ensure that insects processed with ionizing radiation from gamma, electron or X-ray sources receive absorbed doses within a predetermined range.
ISO/ASTM 51940 covers dosimetry in the irradiation of insects for these types of irradiators: self-contained dry-storage 137Cs or 60Co irradiators, larger-scale gamma irradiators and electron accelerators. The absorbed dose for insect sterilization is typically within the range of 20 Gy to 600 Gy.
This International Standard specifically refers, throughout the text, to reproductive sterilization of insects. It is equally applicable to radiation sterilization of invertebrates from other taxa (for example, Acarina, Gastropoda) and to irradiation of live insects or other invertebrates for other purposes (e.g., inducing mutations), presuming the absorbed dose is within the range specified above.
It also covers the use of radiation-sensitive indicators for the visual and qualitative indication that the insects have been irradiated.