Notre Dame's melted roof leaves astronomical lead levels

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PARIS — Notre Dame Cathedral's melted roof has left astronomically high lead levels in the plaza outside and adjacent roads.

Paris police say lead levels from the roof were found to be between 10 and 20 grams per kilogram of ground — between 32 and 65 times the recommended limit by French health authorities of 0.3 grams per kilogram. The areas closest to the cathedral are currently closed.

The statement Thursday said the main danger is lead dust that could coat surfaces of nearby homes and businesses. To avoid lead poisoning, authorities have recommended a good cleaning with a damp cloth, and that pregnant women and children wash hands frequently.

Hundreds of tons of lead were used in Notre Dame's frame, as well as the church spire that burned and collapsed.

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