Stolen construction tool containing small amounts of radioactive material recovered with no signs of damage or tampering

Media contact: Jay Apperson

jay.apperson@maryland.gov

410-537-3003

Stolen construction tool containing small amounts of radioactive material recovered with no signs of damage or tampering

BALTIMORE (July 7, 2017) – A construction tool containing small amounts of radioactive material that was reported stolen last week from a highway project site in Prince George’s County has been recovered.

The tool, a Troxler Model 3440 portable moisture density gauge, was found on a residential property in District Heights on July 4. Prince George’s County Police patrol officers responding to a service call for possible abandoned property arrived on scene, made identification and notified the Prince George’s County fire department Hazmat team. Inspectors from the Maryland Department of the Environment’s Air and Radiation Management Administration inspected the gauge and confirmed that it was not damaged. The device was found in its transport container and showed no signs of having been tampered with or having released radioactive material.

The Maryland Department of the Environment issued a public notice after the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration reported June 28 that the tool had been stolen. The gauge is used for measuring the density of soil at construction sites. It contains small amounts of cesium-137 and americium-241. The device has been returned to the State Highway Administration.

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