If you come across any stolen radioactive tools lying around, please let state officials know about your find.

The North Carolina Radiation Protection Section has received a report of a measuring tool with a radioactive component being stolen in Durham.

 According to state officials, if handled inappropriately, the tool poses a potential health and safety risk to anyone who interacts with it. The gauge (seen above) uses radioactive materials to test the condition of construction materials. 

On Thursday, May 6, state officials realized it had been stolen after the theft was reported to the NC Radiation Protection Section as well as to law enforcement agencies.  Now, they’re all on a mission to find the tool before harm comes to the thief, thieves or others.

The gauge, when last seen in Durham, was in a transportation container that was clearly marked as containing radioactive material.  The container was a yellow plastic case with the following writing: “Radiation tri-foil (Radioactive – 7) USA DOT 7A Type A Radioactive Material, Cargo Aircraft Only.”

So, if you see something yellow with those words on it, don’t pick it up, but do report it.

 The gauge has a stainless-steel handle protruding from the top with a radiation symbol on it.  A description of the radioactive material appears on a plate on the exterior of the gauge and the radioactive material is sealed in a stainless-steel capsule.

“The gauge poses no immediate health or safety threat unless it is mishandled or broken open,” a warning from the Radiation Protection Section states. “If you find the gauge, do not touch or move the device. Maintain at least 10 feet of distance from the gauge until the appropriate authorities secure the area and device.  A prolonged exposure could cause adverse health effects if the radioactive sources were directly exposed to an individual.”

If you come across the gauge, or you have any information as to its whereabouts, you are being asked to contact Travis Cartoski of the NC Radiation Protection Section at 919 621-4797; or simply call 911.