Paris' Notre-Dame square closed due to health fears over lead levels

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Paris' Notre-Dame square closed due to health fears over lead levels
People walk in front of Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral, on April 14, 2021, during the reconstruction work while April 15, 2021 will mark the two years anniversary of the fire that devastated the Cathedral, in the centre of the French capital Paris. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)

The Paris prefecture announced on Monday that it would temporarily close the square in front of the fire-ravaged Notre-Dame cathedral due to a "concentration of lead-laced dust above the usual level for Paris".


Levels of lead in the area have been under observation since the fire that ravaged the cathedral - and melted the lead on its historic roof - in April 2019.

Since then there have been several closures of certain areas, and of schools nearby, when levels of lead have caused concern.

The most recent decision was made "after consulting with the regional health agency of Île-de-France for precaution measures," the prefecture told Franceinfo.

The square in front of the cathedral reopened on March 31st 2020, but the cathedral itself remains closed while works are ongoing to restore it.

Pedestrian and vehicle traffic is now prohibited within the perimeter while its is cleaned.

READ ALSO: French health officials warn of lead pollution risks after Notre-Dame blaze

"When we have cleaned and the numbers have returned to a low enough level, the square will be open to the public again," the prefecture said.


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