Material in House Chamber Tests Negative for Asbestos

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted August 10, 2015 at 5:22pm

The material found in the House chamber that prompted its closing Monday has tested negative for asbestos.  

“The [Architect of the Capitol] has completed the investigation of the material found behind the existing wall fabric in the House Chamber. All tests were negative,” House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul D. Irving said in notice sent late Monday afternoon. Irving said the chamber would reopen to visitors Tuesday. The Capitol Visitor Center stopped issuing House gallery passes after the chamber closed Monday afternoon.  

AOC workers discovered the material behind existing wall fabric while they were renovating the nearly 160-year-old chamber. Irving said in an earlier memo the chamber was closed to visitors out of “an abundance of caution.”  

Asbestos abatement work is ongoing at the Capitol, and resulted in a spill that closed the House side of the building in July 2014. The incident raised questions about the risk of potential asbestos exposure of AOC workers.