- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 29, 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) - Congressional officials have found lead in the drinking water of a House office building, and a Florida lawmaker is demanding answers.

The office of the Architect of the Capitol informed lawmakers Tuesday that lead levels in the drinking water of the historic Cannon Building “are slightly above the (Environmental Protection Agency) standard.”

Republican Rep. Dennis Ross dashed off an irate letter to House officials on Wednesday 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.

The architect’s office turned off the water at drinking fountains and other sources Tuesday night.

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

“I have been drinking this water for years. My staff has been drinking this water for years,” Ross wrote. “Most alarmingly, there are pregnant women and women of child-bearing age who have been drinking this water for years.”

The House is on recess this week but the problem is likely to attract wider notice from lawmakers when they return to their offices in the building.

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