MANILA - An equipment containing radioactive materials was reported missing in Norzagaray town, Bulacan, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said Tuesday.
The moisture density gauge was reported missing last month by a licensee, who also reported the incident to the local police, the DOST-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute said in a statement.
The agency said it has also informed and requested assistance from the police and the Office of Civil Defense in recovering the equipment.
The missing equipment is used by an industrial firm for testing of soil, asphalt and concrete materials, the DOST-PNRI said.
It weighs around 41 kg, which is contained in a transport ‘orange-colored’ box measuring 30 x 14 x 17 inches. The gauge looks similar to the photo below:
The agency advised the public on the following:
- The moisture density gauge is fully shielded, and is safe as it is. However, the equipment is potentially dangerous as it contains radioactive materials that emit high levels of ionizing radiation. If found, do not open the unit or tamper with its housing to avoid exposure to harmful radiation rays.
- Attached to the transport containment and on the equipment is the radiation symbol. If you see the radiation symbol, keep away from the equipment.
- Scrap metal dealers and buyers of used metal items are asked to be on alert.
- Medical practitioners are advised of the possibility that patients may appear with symptoms of radiation exposure.
- Those who may have seen, touched or have been near to the equipment should immediately report to the nearest police station, and contact the DOST-PNRI as soon as possible through: 920-8796, 929-6011 local 244, firstname.lastname@example.org, or www.pnri.dost.gov.ph.