Press Release

BALTIMORE, MD (March 17, 2006) – The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has issued a public alert to report that a moisture density gauge containing nuclear material was stolen from a contractor’s temporary worksite located at 1707 Reisterstown Road in Pikesville.

A Troxler Model 3430 surface moisture density gauge, serial number 23191, was reported stolen to MDE March 17 by Professional Inspection and Testing Services (PITS), Inc., based in Mt. Airy, MD.

The missing 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 MDE’s Radiological Health Program at (866) MDE-GOTO, that’s (866) 633-4686 or PITS Radiation Safety Officer Ingrid Kalb at (717) 263-7964.

The Troxler Model 3430 surface moisture density gauge in and out of its case

Above, is the Troxler Model 3430 surface moisture density gauge in and out of its case.

Editor’s Note

To get a better image of the missing device go to