Health, safety risks alleged at Capitol Visitors Center
Lice and body fluids on Capitol tour headsets
By ERIKA LOVLEY
People who visit the Capitol Visitor Center may be exposed to a number of health and safety risks, including lice and body fluids on Capitol tour headsets and a lack of rapid medical attention during weekends, according to congressional testimony and interviews.
Visitor Center employees say that some of the headsets used for audio tours — worn by as many as 12,000 tourists a day — recently had to be replaced after guides reported seeing lice crawling on the foam pads. Other tour guides have reported seeing guests with ear sores wearing the headsets, which, in one case, resulted in blood being smeared on the equipment.
“We have seen blood on the headphones,” said one Capitol tour guide, who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the subject. “It’s really, really gross. We’ve brought this up to management countless times, and the same response is given: The headphones are cleaned to industry standards.” the rest-yuck!