Lead fallout from Notre Dame fire was likely overlooked

On April 15, 2019, the world watched helplessly as black and yellow smoke billowed from the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. The fire started just below the cathedral’s roof and spire, which were covered in 460 tons of lead—a neurotoxic metal, dangerous especially to children, and the source of the yellow smoke that rose from the fire for hours. The cathedral is being restored, but questions have remained about how much lead the fire emitted into the surrounding neighborhoods, and how much of a threat it posed to the health of people living nearby.

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