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Notre Dame Fire: 250 tons of lead is left in smoke and in Paris lungs?

Can catastrophic fire roof Notre Dame Cathedral and its spire affect the health of Parisians? If the figures for the materials used for the roof and spire are correct, 250 tonnes of lead went up in smoke. This smoke was breathed by the obese Parisians and the heavy particles fell somewhere: in the streets, parks, on the roofs, inside homes. The problem is that the display lead, even occasionally and on low doses, can have health effects. Not alarming, health needs a small summary of the effects of leadership.

250 tonnes of lead is smoked above Paris

The spire of Notre Dame Cathedral, built in 1860 by architect Viollet-le Duc, contained 500 tons of oak and 250 tons of lead. Lead is a material widely used in construction because of its erosion resistance and ease of treatment. Lead poisoning, known as lead poisoning, was already known to the Romans, only in chronic exposure.

But lead does not enter the body by absorbing through the digestive tract, through water or contaminated food. It can also be contaminated by breathing, breathing fumes that contain condensation to evaporate. The point of evaporation of the lead, ie the temperature at which smoke rises is 500 °. During the massive fire on the Notre Dame roof, the temperature in the center of the fire was well beyond this point. From there to think that the fumes that escaped from the fire were loaded with 250 tons of lead … there is only one step. Fortunately, Parisian exposures were punctual, not exposed to the exposure of workers in the industry who are exposed every day to this metal.

The effects of lead exposure on health

The following information about lead hazards can be found on the INRS website: t

Lead can enter the body through the nose (dust, smoke) or mouth (dirty hands, food to contaminate). On the other hand, it's not going through the skin. It causes serious diseases by accumulating in the body, especially in the bones, where it can stay several decades. It is eliminated very slowly.

The effects of lead are:

– at the nervous system level: disorders and memory, deterioration of intellectual abilities, attack on peripheral motor nerves;

– kidney: disruption of elimination functions, chronic renal failure;

  • – in the blood: a decrease in the number of red blood cells (anemia);
  • – in the digestive system: lead colic (abdominal pain);

other: hepatic, endocrine … t

Lead can also be responsible for reproductive abnormalities: t

in women: effects on pregnancy (abortion, premature birth …) t

in people: sperm production impairment.

Effects on children

Children are particularly sensitive to lead poisoning, which can lead to effects on the central nervous system, more importantly the subject is young, with clinical signs that can be serious behavioral problems, mental retardation. ).

A mother who has a lot of lead in her body transfers it to her child during pregnancy and then through breastfeeding, which can lead to a slowdown in the child's psychological development and mental development.

Lead can be found in the body with a blood test and other tests that your doctor may prescribe if you are in any doubt.


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