Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment search­ing for miss­ing gauge

The Dundalk Eagle - - NEWS -

The Mary­land Depart­ment of the En­vi­ron­ment (MDE) is seek­ing a gauge con­tain­ing a small, sealed amount of ra­dioac­tive ma­te­rial that was lost after last be­ing seen at a cam­pus con­struc­tion site at the Univer­sity of Mary­land Eastern Shore in Princess Anne.

The Trox­ler Model 3440P sur­face mois­ture den­sity gauge, se­rial num­ber 75791, was last seen in the early af­ter­noon of July 17 at the con­struc­tion site, lo­cated at 30610 Col­lege Back­bone Road.

The li­censee, J.D. Hynes and As­so­ciates, Inc., re­ported to En­vi­ron­ment that a tech­ni­cian had placed the gauge on the tail­gate of a truck at the site and drove to the Hynes of­fice, lo­cated at 32185 Beaver Run Drive in nearby Sal­is­bury, where he no­ticed the gauge was miss­ing.

The com­pany re­ported the loss to En­vi­ron­ment and the Mary­land State Po­lice in Sal­is­bury. The com­pany searched for the gauge along the travel route and the job site but did not find it.Based on con­sul­ta­tions with the MDE, the com­pany sub­mit­ted a press re­lease with a pho­to­graph of the gauge to two lo­cal news­pa­pers, in­formed lo­cal pawn shops, and are mon­i­tor­ing on­line sell­ing sites, but the gauge has not been found.

The gauge is yel­low, with di­men­sions of 14.5 inches by 9 inches by 23.5 inches.

The de­vice con­tains small amounts of ce­sium-137 and ameri­cium-241. The gauge is used to make mea­sure­ments by pro­ject­ing the ra­di­a­tion from the two ra­dioac­tive sources into the ground and then dis­play­ing the re­flected ra­di­a­tion on a dial on its top.

The gauge con­sists of a shield­ing con­tainer with a plunger-type han­dle pro­trud­ing from the top. The han­dle is used to ex­tend and then re­tract the ra­dioac­tive sources from the shielded po­si­tion.

When not in use, the han­dle is nor­mally locked, with the sources in the re­tracted, safely shielded po­si­tion.

The rec­tan­gu­lar base of the gauge is yel­low.

If the sources are in the shielded po­si­tion, the gauge presents no haz­ard to the pub­lic. How­ever, any at­tempt to tam­per with the ra­dioac­tive sources in the de­vice or han­dle un­shielded sources out­side their 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 (866633-4686), to po­lice at 911, or to J.D. Hynes and As­so­ciates, Inc., at (410) 546-6462.

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