Officials have reopened the Cannon House Office Building after an asbestos scare shuttered its doors from late Friday through most of Saturday.
The Architect of the Capitol announced on its website at 11:18 p.m. Saturday that trained professionals and outside analysts had performed tests and determined air samples were "well below the regulatory limit." "Engineers and certified industrial hygienists assessed the situation and an independent, accredited lab performed a rigorous air sampling analysis," the AOC said in a statement. "The building is safe to reopen."
Cannon was evacuated Friday night for a potential asbestos leak, which the AOC said was related to construction as part of a major ongoing renovation of the oldest House office building.
There have been asbestos scares in the recent past on Capitol Hill. In July 2014, an asbestos spill that occurred during asbestos abatement work temporarily closed the House side of the Capitol. After the ordeal, unions representing AOC workers and the Capitol Police expressed concern about workers’ exposure to the human carcinogen.
In 2012, 10 AOC employees working in tunnels in the Capitol complex settled a major lawsuit against their employer for multiyear exposure to asbestos which caused lifelong debilitating health conditions.