PARIS – Workers started cleaning lead-contaminated areas surrounding the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Tuesday following a devastating blaze that damaged the building in April.
Officials from France’s Ministry of Culture told EFE that the decontamination work would take up to three weeks.
The cleanup is to focus on the Notre Dame square, Rue de la Cite and Rue d’Arcole, which were closed off to traffic and pedestrians.
The Ministry of Culture said the decontamination units would use two cleaning methods, the first one applying high-pressure detergents and the second using gel to absorb the toxic substance.
On July 25, repair work on the landmark was suspended after labor inspectors raised concerns about worker safety.
Renovations are scheduled to resume on Aug. 19.
Decontamination should not affect the revamp as long as workers meet a set of requirements listed by Paris Perfect Michel Cadot in July.
Analyzers recorded high levels of lead mainly in the roof and spire of Notre Dame that were damaged in the fire on April 15.
The contamination requires a series of strict safety protocols for workers such as taking decontamination showers and wearing overalls during work hours, which according to the prefecture, were not followed properly.