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SafetyAlerts
May 18, 2001

Missing Radioactive Camera Poses Lethal Threat

(SafetyAlerts) - The Texas Department of Health (TDH) is warning the public about an industrial radiography camera that disappeared May 10 from Technical Welding in Pasadena. The camera contains iridium-192, a radioactive material that can be deadly when outside its protective housing.

The loss occurred when a truck with the device inside was stolen near the intersection of Oak and Preston streets in Pasadena. The truck was later found about three miles away, but the camera was missing.

Brad Caskey with the TDH bureau of radiation control said that the camera is not a danger to the public if the housing is still intact. "But this device does contain radioactive material in sufficient quantity that, if removed from its protective housing, could expose people within a few feet to potentially lethal doses of radiation," he said.
   
The camera is about 5Ѕ inches wide, 5Ѕ inches tall and 14Ѕ inches long and looks similar to a metal tool box. It is housed in a stainless steel cover and weights about 45 pounds. The covering is marked with several warning
labels including a yellow and black caution label indicating radioactive material.

The camera is used to inspect metal for cracks and welding defects.

Anyone who has information about the camera should immediately contact TDH 24 hours a day at 512-458-7460 in Austin or 713-767-3252 in Houston, or call Technical Welding at 281-487-8800 in Pasadena.

People should not go near the camera or attempt to move it.

(For more information, contact Brad Caskey or Robert Free, TDH Bureau of Radiation Control, at 512-834-6688, ext. 2020 or 2022; or Emily Palmer, TDH Assistant Public Information Officer, at 512-458-7400.)

 
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