Radioactive soil-testing device stolen from truck

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Published: January 16,2011

Tags: engineering, public health, soil, theft

JACKSON — The Mississippi Health Department says a moisture density gauge containing a small amount of radioactive material has been stolen during an auto theft in Jackson.

The Health Department says the gauge was in the bed of the Ford truck when the pickup was stolen Wednesday.

The gauge is a common device that construction firms use in soil testing. The stolen device is a Troxler model 3440 and was in a yellow case.

Jim Craig, a Health Department official, says the radioactive material contained in the gauge could pose a health threat if the device is damaged, but should be safe if the device is not opened.

Department spokeswoman Liz Sharlot says the level of radiation is about the same as an X-ray.

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