Keyword: lead poisoning

Parents talk of 'Kafkaesque' official response to Notre Dame toxic lead fears

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Site workers at Notre-Dame cathedral on July 17th 2019 © Reuters. Site workers at Notre-Dame cathedral on July 17th 2019 © Reuters.

Out of 175 children so far tested after the April fire at the cathedral, 16 have levels of lead in their blood above the threshold at which an initial alert is raised, according to figures from the Paris regional health authority. Two have concentrations above the level at which lead poisoning is officially declared, though one of these cases is not apparently linked to lead from the blaze. Meanwhile the parents of one child with high lead levels in his blood have spoken of the “Kafkaesque” response of the authorities to their plight. Pascale Pascariello reports.

Health scandal over 'unprecedented' lead levels after Notre-Dame fire

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Notre-Dame cathedral after the fire in April 2019. © Reuters Notre-Dame cathedral after the fire in April 2019. © Reuters

Levels of lead concentration 400 to 700 times the maximum authorised limit have been detected in the ground inside and around Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris since the fire that destroyed it in April, according to confidential documents seen by Mediapart. Neither the regional health authority nor the Paris police authorities – who have carried out one of the tests - have passed on these results to people living near by or people working in contaminated areas. One reason for not doing so is apparently the fear of alarming people. Pascale Pascariello reports.