It was reported that a soil density gauge, containing Am and Cs radioisotope sources was stolen from a truck in Southwest Little Rock. The DHHS says that persons who use or handle the instrument could be at some health risk if the gauge is handled or used for an extended length of time.
Like 25 hours.
You see, it emits ionizing radiation. 20 mrem/H at the surface. This exposure decreases by the 4th power of the distance from the surface, so that at a yard away, the exposure is 0.65 mrem/H (thanks, Dr. Hammad).
I hope he puts it under his pillow. Or under his truck seat, if it'll fit.
Speaking of the truck seat reminds me of the guy who found a radioactive source placed under his car seat a few years back. Seems someone was out to get him. This was pre-Internet, so there's not any link for it. I wonder how he found it.
I wonder if it had one of those radiation trefoil labels? I don't even have to post a graphic to demonstrate. Everyone recognizes these. However, some must fix what ain't broke.
I wonder if the person who had responsibility for the instrument will be charged with reckless endangerment? Y'know, portable radiological sources in the hands of the general public are a no-no, unless you're talking smoke detectors.
There needs to be more of this public spirit. Let's say that this Materials Testing fellow has done a good thing for the rest of us. I am rather fond of the "close or crap" story about cyanide-laced whiskey in the glove compartment used in South Africa.