Workers returned to Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday, as efforts resumed to clear out hazardous debris and to secure the building ahead of restoration works.

"At the time of the fire I felt a big wound, almost a big sorrow, it was impressive, now I'm waiting for it to be rebuilt, but anyway it will have been damaged compared to what I had known when I was a child," said one local.

The works were halted in July after an inspection raised fears of workers and local residents potentially being exposed to dangerous levels of lead.

Tonnes of lead from the roof of the cathedral and its steeple melted in the blaze on April 15, 2019, and particulates of the poisonous metal are thought to have been spread across a wide area by the fire's smoke. Lead poisoning can be lethal with even small amounts capable of severely impacting health as well as the mental and physical development of children.

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