ST. LOUIS (AP) — The U.S. Office of Special Counsel said in a letter to President Joe Biden and members of Congress that employees at a federal office complex in St. Louis were exposed to “widespread, longstanding” contamination from asbestos, lead, mercury, arsenic and other toxic materials by the agency in charge of managing government workplaces.
The letter, issued Friday, also noted that children at an on-site day care facility were exposed. The letter said officials deliberately misled tenants about the health risks at the Goodfellow Federal Center, 4300 Goodfellow Boulevard in north St. Louis.
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel handles investigations and prosecution aimed at protecting federal employees. The OSC said that an investigation into whistleblower allegations “substantiated that officials had been aware of environmental contamination but failed to appropriately notify GSA employees or tenant agencies.”
The investigation also concluded that officials made no effort to limit access to contaminated areas and failed to assess potential exposure risks in the site’s child care center.
The GSA has stated that it is working to close the Goodfellow complex and expects to relocate most tenant agencies by the end of 2022.