Notre Dame Construction Resumes, Lead Concerns Remain

Aug. 21, 2019

Construction resumed at the Notre Dame cathedral on Monday, just weeks after authorities shut the site down over worries about lead contamination linked to the fire in April. According to the New York Times, the work restarted with “stricter decontamination measures” in place. 

The new measures will include the use of foot baths, showers, and disposable wear to protect workers from lead and to keep toxic particles from spreading outside. There will also be strict checks on entering and leaving the site. 

The article reports that workers are currently shoring up the cathedral’s structure and removing metal scaffoldings that were around the spire at the time of the fire. They have also started to clean up an area of over 100,000 square feet around Notre-Dame, which is closed to the public.

Workers are also using high-pressure water mixed with a special compound to remove lead particles on the streets.

According to the New York Times, the building structure is still vulnerable, with several stones falling from vaults in the nave after a recent heat wave in Paris. Restoration work is not expected to begin until next year.

Over 400 tons of lead roofing burned in the fire, releasing a cloud of lead particles into the air. French officials have been criticized for reacting slowly and failing to fully disclose the risk of contamination for people in the area. 

Source: The New York Times