Eight cafeteria employees were taken to area hospitals Friday after a potential release of lead paint dust was discovered at the Longworth House Office Building cafeteria during a weeks-long renovation project, authorities said.
All eight were evaluated for potential exposure to lead, according to a House Sergeant at Arms news release. The area in the cafeteria that was initially impacted was not being used for food preparation.
Around 9:30 a.m. Friday, authorities discovered that lead paint dust may have been released during overnight renovation work. While authorities investigated, some workers complained of feeling unwell, the release said.
Timothy Wilson, a D.C. fire department spokesman, could not immediately describe the symptoms but said they were minor. He said fire crews evaluated 10 people and took eight to hospitals.
No offices at the building on Independence Avenue were evacuated. It is located just south of the U.S. Capitol and near the Capitol South Metro station.
Police had briefly closed the eastbound lanes of Independence Avenue SE between Washington Avenue and First Street. The road was reopened by 12:15 p.m.
The cafeteria will remain closed until tests are completed and remedial measures taken, authorities said.