Be on the lookout: Radioactive equipment goes missing

Image of a Troxler model 3430 density gauge, a radioactive device (Photo: Troxler Labs)

Image of a Troxler model 3430 density gauge, a radioactive device (Photo: Troxler Labs)

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — A piece of equipment that uses radioactivity to check moisture density at construction sites is missing according to the Colorado Health Department.

The device, A Troxler model 3430 density gauge with serial number 36856, has two radioactive sources in it: Cesium-137 and a combination of Americium-241 and Beryllium.

The bottom line: The equipment poses a potential health risk if it isn’t handled correctly.

A.G. Wassenaar, Inc., of Denver, told the Colorado Department of Health and Environment and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office the gauge was missing at about 2:30 p.m. Friday.

It was lost somewhere between the intersections of Shaffer Parkway and Shaffer Place and West Ken Caryl Avenue and South Continental Divide Road in Jefferson County.

Radioactive gauge description

The gauge is a yellow metal box featuring a long, rod-shaped handle with a grip. A radioactive warning label is attached to the handle and the case. The top of the device features a keypad and electronic display.

The equipment is safe as long as it’s intact and handled by someone who knows what they’re doing. Otherwise, it could emit higher-than-normal levels or radiation.

Anyone who fines it should not handle it. Instead, call A.G. Wassenaar’s radiation safety officer at 303-210-2297.

A different company had a similar device stolen in October 2013. It was eventually recovered.