Lead leak from Notre Dame cathedral fire prompts lawsuit

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Flames and smoke rise from Notre Dame cathedral as it burns in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. Massive plumes of yellow brown smoke is filling the air above Notre Dame Cathedral and ash is falling on tourists and others around the island that marks the center of Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

PARIS (AP) — A French activist group has filed a lawsuit over health threats from toxic lead released in Notre Dame Cathedral’s devastating fire.

Hundreds of tons of lead melted when the April fire destroyed the cathedral’s roof and spire, and exceptionally high lead levels were later recorded in the surrounding air.

The association Robin des Bois said Monday it filed a lawsuit in a Paris court for deliberately endangering human life. The group says local officials should have immediately imposed protective measures. The lawsuit doesn’t name a specific suspected perpetrator.

Children are especially vulnerable to health problems from lead poisoning, which can be fatal.

City officials last week ordered a deep cleaning for neighborhood schools, and health authorities recommended blood tests for children and pregnant women who live nearby.

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