The move was described “as a precaution” and came after the city’s health authorities said they were investigating whether the fire was to blame for high levels of lead found in the bloodstream of a child living in central Paris.
On Tuesday, Ile de France’s Regional Agency of Health (ARS), which covers Paris, said in a statement that it had learned that a child had been found to have levels of lead “higher than normal standards.”
However, on Tuesday, ARS said it had opened an investigation into the affected child’s situation, saying it would also investigate if other factors, excluding the Notre Dame fire, could have caused a spike in the child’s lead levels.
The agency did not give any further detail.
Lead ‘didn’t disappear,’ group says
“Public authorities are not acting at all. The lead didn’t disappear, it’s impossible,” Bonnemains told CNN.
“Before launching a competition for the design of a new steeple, we should launch a competition to decontaminate what at the moment, alas, can be considered an industrial wasteland,” the group said.
“For several months or even years, residents and people within the affected perimeter may inhale lead dust without knowing it,” it added.
In May, the Paris police warned that Notre Dame’s melted roof left extremely high levels of lead in the square in front of the building and the roads around it — but said that there was no danger of toxic inhalation.
“The analysis of the samples made since Notre Dame’s fire reveal that there is no risk related to lead ingestion from the air, but confirm the presence of lead dust in the immediate neighborhood of the cathedral,” a police statement on May 9 said.
Police, however, did warn that children under 6 and pregnant woman were the most susceptible to lead poisoning through “multiple” inhalations and advised locals who frequent the area to regularly wash their hands and for locals to use a wet mop or cloth to wipe down their apartments.
Lead exposure can affect nearly every system in the body and can damage the brain and nervous system. It can slow growth and development and lead to learning and behavior problems including reduced IQ, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and hearing and speech problems.
Journalist Antoine Crouin reported from Paris while CNN’s Kara Fox wrote from CNN.