A nuclear density gauge stored in a vehicle is now missing. The device, which belongs to a local construction inspection company is used at construction sites to “evaluate the properties of building and road-bed materials” according to Sky News.
The vehicle was stolen in Philadelphia and when it was recovered the device was missing.
The Department of Environmental Protection says that there is “potential for damage to the radioactive source and spread of contamination” if the device is damaged or mishandled.
David Allard, director of the Bureau of Radiation Protection, said in a statement: “It is critical for anyone who has information about the lost nuclear gauge to contact local authorities or DEP.
“As long as the device is not tampered with or damaged, it presents no hazard to public safety.”
NBC News reports that authorities believe the gauge may have been damaged after the theft of the vehicle, which is why officials are urging anyone who encounters the device to not handle it and contact the authorities to allow a trained individual to recover it.
High levels of radiation exposure over a short period of time can cause nausea and vomiting.