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Portable gauges

Gauges are used in industries such as agriculture, construction and civil engineering to measure moisture and compaction levels in soil and asphalt density in paving mixes.

To do these measurements, two types of radiation are used in gauges: gamma (such as cesium-137) and neutron (such as americium-241/beryllium).

Portable gauge licensees must ensure that doses are kept as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA). The CNSC facilitates this by regulating the use of radiation devices, by assessing radiation protection programs, and by regularly inspecting licensees to ensure compliance with the regulations and licence conditions.

Portable gauge users must ensure that they safely conduct their work and comply with all applicable regulatory requirements. Their safety – as well as the safety of the public and the environment – depends at all times on a high level of radiation safety.

Gauge users must comply with the radiation protection program established by their employer, in accordance with regulatory requirements. Risks that may jeopardize the integrity, safety or security of gauges, safe operations or radiation detection instruments have to be duly considered and mitigated.

Each portable gauge must be either under the constant surveillance of a worker, or secured in a transport vehicle or at the storage location.


Listed here are some useful tools and resources that provide guidance on the safe handling and use of portable gauges:

Safety posters


Services providers

Organizations that want to make related services available to portable gauge licensees can submit their contact information to the CNSC by filling out a service provider form . Information will be published on the CNSC website once received. The CNSC provides this information to licensees for information purposes only; it does not endorse or recommend any of the organizations listed.

View the list of service providers .

Additional CNSC resources

Need more information?

If you have any questions about portable gauges, email the CNSC or call 1-888-229-2672.

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