Camera containing radioactive material goes missing in Houston

HOUSTON ( — A missing camera would not normally make headlines, but it’s an entirely different story when that camera happens to contain radioactive material.

Officials with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) announced to the public on March 11 that they are searching for a radiographic camera that disappeared on Thursday.

Authorities stressed that the radioactive material is “sealed” under multiple layers of protection. The risk of exposure is “very low,” they assured the public.

The 53-pound camera, which is commonly used in the construction industry, is owned by Statewide Maintenance Company. It was last seen at 4040 Little York Road in Houston.

Statewide Maintenance is working with DSHS and local authorities to find the missing camera. They are offering a reward for its safe return.

The camera is considered a “sealed source,” DSHS officials explained. That means the radioactive material is sealed inside a capsule, which itself is sealed inside the camera. Protective shielding and other safety features help ensure radiation levels outside the camera are not dangerous.

The outside of the camera is marked with radiation symbols. Texas DSHS

If you find the camera, authorities say you should not try to open it. Call 911 or the DSHS 24-hour hotline at 512-458-7460 to report the location.