BALTIMORE, MD (January 9, 2004) – The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has issued a public alert to report that a moisture density gauge containing nuclear material is missing after being stolen from a vehicle in Baltimore County this morning.
A Troxler Model 3411B surface moisture density gauge, serial number 18083, was taken from the vehicle of an employee of Hardin-Knight Associates, Inc. who resides in the 4000 block of Washington Street in Halethorpe.
The device contains small amounts of radioactive material and is used to measure moisture and compaction in soils, concrete, asphalt and other aggregates. The yellow device is reported to be in the locked position. Its yellow transport case is also reported to be locked. The device is not a hazard to the public as long as the radioactive material remains locked in the device.
The gauge is yellow in color and approximately 3’x 2’ x 2’. [See pictures below.] The radioactive material it contains is Cesium-137 on an extendable rod and Americium-241 encased inside the device. A padlock is normally used to secure the Cesium-137 source in its shielded position when not in use.
Anyone finding this device should report it immediately to the Baltimore County Police at (410) 887-2210, the Maryland Department of the Environment’s Radiological Health Program at (866) MDE-GOTO, that’s (866) 633-4686 or Hardin-Knight Associates, Inc. at (410) 553-0802.
EDITOR’S NOTE: To get a better image of the missing device go to www.troxlerlabs.com.