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California To Drop State Rock Over Asbestos Concerns 256

Diamonddavej writes "The LA Times reports that Californian legislators are close to dropping the translucent green rock Serpentine as the state rock of California because of its tenuous association with chrysotile asbestos. Sen. Gloria Romero declares in her bill (SB 624) that Serpentine should be dropped as California's state rock because it 'contains the deadly mineral chrysotile asbestos, a known carcinogen, exposure to which increases the risk of the cancer mesothelioma.' The bill has backing from mesothelioma support groups. Critics point out that Serpentine is a group of 20 different minerals, and Californian Serpentine rarely contains much chrysotile, never mind its dangerous fibrous asbestos form. Its is suspected that lawyers involved in asbestos compensation claims and cleanup companies will profit from the bill. Vast tracts of California where bedrock is made of Serpentine could be declared hazardous to health... even if it contains no crysotile at all! It looks like SB 624 will be passed; it won unanimous bi-partisan support from an Assembly committee last week."

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang