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

Paris' Notre-Dame square closed due to health fears over lead levels
The 2019 fire released lead particles that settled in potentially dangerous amounts in areas surrounding the church. Photo: 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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