Grand Canyon tourists exposed to radiation in museum

A coin viewer points at the Grand Canyon trough a window of the Desert View Watchtower built at the edge of the canyon South Rim in Arizona

A coin viewer points at the Grand Canyon trough a window of the Desert View Watchtower built at the edge of the canyon South Rim in Arizona

Nevertheless, the Park Service has assured the public that the uranium has officially been removed and that background radiation levels at the museum are safely under control.

High-level Park Service officials formed a "secrecy pact" to cover up the fact that three large drums of uranium had been stored in the Grand Canyon's museum building for 18 years, exposing Parks employees and tourists alike - including children - to unsafe levels of radiation, National Park Service safety, health, and wellness manager Elston "Swede" Stephenson claims, according to USA Today.

An email sent out to employees on February 4 by safety, health and wellness manager Elston "Swede" Stephenson described the incident as a "top management failure", warning of potential health consequences. He told the U.S. publication management were part of a shock cover-up before adding he had been purposely cut off from any dialogue about the exposure.

Earlier this month, a National Park Service safety manager sent a "rogue" email alleging the improper storing of radioactive material at a Grand Canyon facility frequented by children, the Arizona Republic reports.

"If you were in the museum collections building between the year 2000 and June 18, 2018, you were "exposed" to uranium by the [Occupational Safety and Health Administration's] definition", Stephenson wrote in the email, according to AZ Central.

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Something inexplicable has been going on at the Grand Canyon museum, and the truth is stranger than fiction. "The radiation readings, at first blush, exceeds (sic) the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's safe limits".

But Stephenson says the containers were kept near a taxidermy exhibit that kids often sat near during presentations, which could go on for more than half an hour - meaning they could've been blasted with up to 4,000 times what's considered safe exposure.

"There is no current risk to the park employees or public", Davis told USA Today.

Stephenson said he emailed Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and Deputy Inspector General Mary Kendall, urging them to warn the public, but nothing was done.

"We do take our public and employee safety and allegations seriously", she said. The buckets were moved to the museum building when it opened in 2000 and were so full of the ore one literally wouldn't close.

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