Notre Dame

Report: 460 tons of lead burned during Notre Dame fire, posing public health risk

Notre Dame Cathedral during renovations
Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

The fire that consumed the Notre Dame Cathedral this April subjected the public, including schools, day care centers and parks in Paris to "alarming levels [of] lead," and revealing a possible "failed official response," according to a new report from the New York Times.

The impact: After 460 tons of lead burned from the cathedral's scorched roof and spire, it left more than 6,000 children under age 6 vulnerable to lead contamination, found the Times. Children under 6 and pregnant women are the most vulnerable since it can interfere with the development of the nervous system and lead to cognitive problems.

Notre Dame was on the brink of collapse during April fire

Notre Dame reconstruction
Notre Dame reconstruction in May. Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty Images

Notre Dame Cathedral was near collapse as firefighters risked their lives to control the destructive fire in April, further developments and analysis by the New York Times show.

Why it matters: If the fire had spread for much longer, the bell tower and the floor beneath the firefighters would have caved in and destroyed the 850-year-old building.