I can already see how important this issue is to you.
Californian state senator Gloria Romero’s (D-East Los Angeles) bill (SB 624) looks to give the state mineral Serpentine the boot because some deposits contain a small amount of asbestos. Romero states, “[Serpentine] contains the deadly mineral chrysotile asbestos, a known carcinogen, exposure to which increases the risk of the cancer mesothelioma.”
Dear Senator Romero, East Los Angeles has far worse problems like its citizens being mistaken for illegals over in Arizona, not to mention crushing poverty and the fact that your state budget is now weeks overdue.
What we need is a bill to teach science given that the state legislature doesn’t even know what asbestos, serpentine and serpentinite are to begin with.
Asbestos is not a single mineral, and in fact isn’t the name of any defined mineral at all. Asbestiform is a particular mineralogical habit that some minerals take: long fibers often in veins or masses. Asbestiform and fibrous, as crystal forms, are similar, with asbestiform being a more extreme version of fibrous.
and the Lab Lemming
There are 20 forms of serpentine, only one of which is an asbestos mineral. The very dangerous amphibole asbestos minerals specifically mentioned in the bill are completely unrelated to serpentine.
Forget all of the above and ask yourself this: How does “outlawing” serpentin(ite) prevent or cure mesothelioma?
This is what happens when science, thorough research of the issues and common sense are run over by spineless legislators as state employees head for minimum wage. They find a scaperock.
What next? Wisconsin drops galena because it contains lead and the same with limestone in Tennessee for trace amounts of arsenic. Nope, didn’t say it. Don’t give them any ideas.
Update: Sacramento Bee | California state-rock bill has serpentine agenda. It turns out that it’s not a simple case of “nanny state” but something more sinister: a jobs stimulus plan for personal injury lawyers.
Were SB 624 to become law, declaring serpentine as carcinogenic, it could widen the opportunities for lawsuits against owners of property with naturally occurring outcroppings of serpentine. And it’s become a new skirmish in the perennial war between personal injury lawyers and the business-backed Civil Justice Association of California.