Renewed anti-lead security measures for Notre Dame reconstruction
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    Renewed anti-lead security measures for Notre Dame reconstruction

    Credit: Belga

    Paris’ Notre Dame reconstruction will resume gradually as of the week of 12 August, after setting up new safeguards for employees potentially exposed to lead, Ile-de-France Prefecture announced. 

    “The Police Commissioner has decided to gradually resume the construction site from the week of 12 August,” the prefecture said. 

    The site had been suspended for “a few days” last week to review the sanitary precautionary rules for workers on the site, Prefect Michel Cadot explained. A labor inspection report showed that these rules were “insufficient” and not “consistently applied”, he said. 

    During the fire that partially destroyed the Gothic cathedral on 15 April, several hundred tons of lead from the framework of the arrow and roof melted and vanished as fine particles. 

    The precise date for resuming the work in the week of 12 August is not yet known. It will depend on “the installment of additional decontamination measures during that week” to allow “30 to 40 people to work simultaneously on the site”. 

    In addition, security procedures for workers “were reviewed” and approved by Labour Inspection, a person added. 

    Specifically, more footbaths and decontamination showers will be installed. People’s traffic procedures and area decontamination methods in different zones (inside/forecourt, etc.) were reviewed and personnel will be trained and informed. 

    The Labor Inspectorate Report concluded “that the decontamination facilities [were] undersized”, in the words of the prefecture. 

    Chronic exposure to extremely high levels of lead, by inhalation or ingestion, can lead to digestive disorders, a disruption of the functioning of the kidneys, nervous system damage or abnormalities in reproduction.

    The Brussels Times