- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 5, 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) - Lead-contaminated water in the drinking fountains at a U.S. Capitol office building has prompted officials to offer blood testing to lawmakers and staff, according to information provided to congressional offices.

In a notice Tuesday, Stephen Ayers, the Architect of the Capitol, said the testing will be available on Wednesday at no cost to the individual or the congressional office.

Officials have shut off the water in the Cannon House Office Building after they received elevated lead test results, prompting widespread concern on Capitol Hill.

The architect’s office informed lawmakers last week that lead levels in the drinking water of the Cannon building “are slightly above the (Environmental Protection Agency) standard.”

Republican Rep. Dennis Ross of Florida dashed off an irate letter to House officials last week demanding to know how much lead is in the water and asking for free tests to measure lead in the people who’ve been drinking the water.

Lead can be especially harmful to the unborn and Ross noted that there are pregnant women who have been drinking the water in the Cannon Building for years.

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