According to the Grand Canyon’s safety director, visitors at the park have been exposed to radiation in the National Park’s museum collection building for nearly two decades.
Federal officials reportedly learned last year that there were three five gallon that were filled with radioactive uranium ore. The buckets were removed, but director Elston “Swede” Stephenson says that nothing was done to warn visitors of the risks of the radiation.
“If you were in the Museum Collections Building (2C) between the year 2000 and June 18, 2018, you were ‘exposed’ to uranium by OSHA’s definition,” Stephenson wrote in an email to employees, “The radiation readings, at first blush, exceeds (sic) the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s safe limits. … Identifying who was exposed, and your exposure level, gets tricky and is our next important task.”
The containers were reportedly near a taxidermy exhibit, one that was frequently visited by children taking tours of the natural wonder. The tours would often stop for presentations at the exhibit, with the children receiving radiation for periods approaching 30 minutes.
There is no ongoing danger of exposure after the ore was removed and recent reviews have shown no lingering radiation.