Maryland Department of the Environment Seeks Lost Lead Paint Test Tool Containing Small Amounts of Radioactive Material
Device last seen at job site on the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Laurens Street in Baltimore City, not a hazard as long as material remains locked
BALTIMORE (August 18, 2021) – The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) is seeking a lead paint testing tool containing a small, sealed amount of radioactive material that was lost in Baltimore City.
The device — identified as Viken Detection (formerly known as Heuresis), model pb200i XRF, serial number 2861 – was last seen August 11 at a job site at the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Laurens Street. The licensed owner, 100% Lead Inspections, LLC, reported that a user had placed the device on the sidewalk next to his vehicle after testing the exterior of a nearby property and was moving around to better place a ladder on the vehicle when he then noticed the XRF was missing.
The company reported the loss to MDE and the Baltimore City Police Department. The company searched for the device around the block and checked local pawn shops, but the gauge has not been found. The Lead Paint Analyzer (pictured below) is black, with dimensions of 7.8 inches (height) by 6.7 inches (length) by 2.6 inches, (width), and weighs about 1.3 pounds, including batteries.
The device contains small amounts of cobalt-57. The XRF is used to make lead measurements by projecting the radiation from the radioactive source into paints and then displaying the reflected radiation on a dial on its top.
The XRF consists of a shielding head at the top. If the source is in the shielded position, the XRF presents no hazard to the public. However, any attempt to tamper with the radioactive source in the device or handle unshielded sources outside its container carries a risk of potentially dangerous exposure.
Anyone with information about the location of the gauge should avoid handling it and should report it immediately to MDE’s Radiological Health Program at 866-MDE-GOTO (866-633-4686), to police at 911, or to 100% Lead Inspections, at 410-804-8697.