A device once used in nuclear medicine was discovered Monday in the parking lot of a Santa Clarita sporting goods store, but the radioactive material inside the device had long since decayed and was no longer dangerous, Los Angeles County health officials said.
Officials have no idea how the device, technically known as a molybdenum generator, ended up outside the Sport Chalet on Lyons Avenue.
Labels on the generator indicated it last held radioactive material in 1987.
Officials planned to contact the manufacturer of the device in hopes of tracking down the medical facility that purchased it, said Kathleen Kaufman, director of the radiation management program for the Department of Health Services.
The generator, a square blue box that measures about 12 inches across, was spotted about 7:15 a.m. by a passerby who noticed stickers on the sides indicating the contents were radioactive.
Los Angeles County firefighters roped off the parking lot of the Sport Chalet for two hours until the box was removed.
A molybdenum generator is used to create technetium-99m, a radioactive substance commonly used in nuclear medicine, Kaufman said.
The material has a half-life of six hours and quickly becomes harmless, she said.