• Kyodo

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High levels of lead have been detected at the site of the Atomic Bomb Dome here, but no damage to human health has been reported because no groundwater from the area has been used for human consumption, the Hiroshima Municipal Government announced Thursday.

City officials said lead plates were used for water-proofing work on the burned out building’s walls and windowpanes in fiscal 2002 in an effort to preserve the historic dome, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The city has taken and analyzed soil samples from nine points on the dome’s premises since November.

Up to 0.013 mg of lead per liter of soil has been detected at seven of the nine spots, which is 33 times the legally permissible level of 0.01 mg.

The officials said they cannot directly link the contamination with the use of lead plates in the preservation work, noting that lead also has been detected at places far away from where the plates were used.

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