French soldiers clear the area around Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. Authorities started clearing the area around Notre Dame ahead of decontamination and cleanup work which will resume on Aug. 19 after new equipment and stricter safety procedures ensure workers are not exposed to unsafe levels of lead following the fire earlier this year. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)
PARIS — Workers were preparing to decontaminate some Paris streets surrounding the Notre Dame Cathedral that have been tested with high levels of lead following the April blaze that damaged the landmark.
Flames and smoke rise as the spire on Notre Dame cathedral collapses 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/Diana Ayanna)
High fences blocked Parisians and tourists from several streets and a bridge around the monument on Tuesday.
The culture ministry said workers plan to use two decontamination techniques. One involves spreading a gel on public benches, street lights and other fixtures to absorb the lead, letting it dry for several days before removing it. Another method will feature high pressure water jets with chemical agents.
The cleanup work inside Notre Dame, suspended last month for safety reasons, will resume next week.
Hundreds of tons of lead in Notre Dame’s spire and roof melted during the April fire. /kga
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