National/World

White powder at Iowa Statehouse was antacid

Thursday, April 05, 2012
Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad, D-Des Moines, sits at his desk in the Iowa House Wednesday, April 4, 2012, at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa. State patrol officers stopped anyone from entering or leaving the Statehouse on Tuesday evening after Abdul-Samad opened an envelope at his desk and powder spilled out. After about four hours officers announced the powder had been deemed harmless and that people could leave the building.

Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad, D-Des Moines, sits at his desk in the Iowa House Wednesday, April 4, 2012, at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa. State patrol officers stopped anyone from entering or leaving the Statehouse on Tuesday evening after Abdul-Samad opened an envelope at his desk and powder spilled out. After about four hours officers announced the powder had been deemed harmless and that people could leave the building. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Officials say the white powder that prompted a lockdown of the Iowa Statehouse earlier this week turned out to be a common antacid.

Des Moines Fire Department spokesman Brian O'Keefe said Thursday that tests showed the powder was calcium carbonate.

The Iowa Statehouse was locked down for four hours Tuesday after a Democratic lawmaker opened the envelope. It also contained a threatening letter.

Legislative leaders say they want a review of mail-handling and other security procedures at the Statehouse.

House Speaker Kraig Paulsen says lawmakers have never encountered such an incident and should develop procedures in case something similar happens again.

Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal says security officials need to be brought into such planning.

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