Grand Canyon Visitors and Workers Were Exposed to Uranium Radiation… for Nearly 20 Years!

People have been marveling at the Grand Canyon’s majesty for thousands of years. In fact, it’s actually considered one of the most majestic landscapes in the world.

Formed by the Colorado River and its tributaries, the canyon’s channels were cut through layer after layer of rock. While at the same time, the Colorado plateau was being lifted.

Today, approximately 5 million people visit it each and every year. It’s 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide. Even more stunning, it’s more than a mile deep in some parts.

But now, those same people may now be wondering if their visit was worth it.

Uranium Was Stored at Museum

The Grand Canyon National Park’s safety manager recently made an alarming statement to the public.

Elston Stephenson said uranium ore was kept at the park’s museum. And it may have exposed visitors and workers to elevated levels of radiation. For the past 20 years!

He says close proximity could have exposed adults to 400 times the health limit and children to 1,400 times the limit.

Safety Official Gave Warning

Stephenson said he tried to warn park officials about this before. But they ignored him. So, he decided to take matters into his own hands by sending emails to workers and media.

Here’s how part of Stephenson’s email read. “If you were in the Museum’s Collections Building between the year 2000 and June 18, 2018, you were exposed to uranium by OSHA’s definition.

“Please understand, this doesn’t mean that you’re somehow contaminated, or that you are going to have health issues.

“It merely means essentially that there was uranium on the site and you were in its presence… And by law we are supposed to tell you.”

DOI Says Not to Worry

Once this revelation went public, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) got involved.

An Interior official said the National Park Service is investigating the matter. As well as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). And the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Here’s how a statement from the DOI read. “Uranium naturally occurs in the rocks of the Grand Canyon National Park. A recent survey of the… museum collection facility found radiation levels at ‘background’ levels – the amount always present in the environment and below levels of concern for public health and safety.

“There is no current risk to the public or park employees.” The National Park Service confirmed that finding.

Children and Workers Most Exposed

But Stephenson isn’t so sure about that. He said in June 2018 he found three five-gallon buckets of uranium ore. They were kept next to a taxidermy exhibit at the museum for nearly two decades.

A park service radiation safety officer conducted tests. They showed radiation levels above background levels near the buckets. But not elsewhere.

Stephenson stated he is most concerned about school children. They walked and sat by the buckets on tours. And even more so the workers. They might have been exposed to unsafe levels of uranium daily.

He was unable to convince park officials to warn workers or the public. So, he contacted OSHA. Inspectors arrived the next day and discovered that the now empty buckets had been brought back to the park facility. Rather than being destroyed or left at the mine where the uranium was left.

According to an OSHA official, they are still investigating this matter.

Understanding Radiation – What Public Exposure Can Do to You

Radiation exposure should be taken very seriously. And while natural dosages are safe for humans, intense exposures from radioactive material may damage cells, leading over time to medical issues.

Here are three things you need to know about radiation:

  • Radiation is the emission of energy as invisible rays. Some levels at the Grand Canyon are higher due to the altitude and geology.
  • How you are affected by radiation is dependent on how close you are to it and for how long, as well as what you’re wearing when exposed.
  • Radiation poisoning can lead to immediate vomiting and other symptoms. It can even be deadly.

Being Prepared Is the Key

In the Grand Canyon incident, it is unclear how many people may have been exposed, and to what extent. What is clear is that none of us truly knows whether radiation exposure will happen to us in the future.

From something as “innocent” as uranium being stored somewhere near us without our knowledge. Or from a deliberate enemy attack from Russia or North Korea.

The key is to be prepared. And one of the easiest things you can do today is to add Potassium Iodide tablets (KI caps) to your stockpile.

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