When workers at city hall in Bristol spotted some strange black dust, authorities brought in air quality testers and what they found has shut the clerk's office.
Inside that office, samples of the air near the floor were the cause of concern, Mayor Ken Cockayne said.
"There was a number of different things. One of them showed a little elevation of some lead, so that was our main concern," he said.
Dawn Mattei drove from Middletown on Wednesday to get a copy of her daughter's birth certificate only to meet a worker inside city hall who helped her, but warned her there's lead in the air.
"So she told me to take my kid away from the area and she dropped her pacifier on the floor and they said, ‘Don't let her put it in her mouth.’ So I was in tears!," she said.
The clerk has temporarily moved her office to the public library, but all the records people want copies of are at city hall.
"We understand it's an inconvenience but in an emergency case like this, and we're calling it an emergency, we have to protect the public and our employees," Cockayne said.
He explained that workers cleaned the ductwork two weeks ago and dust from the whole building settled at the lowest part of the ductwork system, the clerk's office.
Testing and cleaning continue. Meanwhile the clerk's employees are in the computer lab at the library, handling phone calls at 860-584-7787, extension 2030.