It’s an honor doled out by about half of the American states: the naming of an official state rock. West Virginia has bituminous coal. Florida has agatized coral. California has the olive-green beauty serpentine–for the moment. State legislators are moving to cast off the rock, saying it contains the mineral chrysotile asbestos.
Exposure to chrysotile asbestos, according to the pending “serpentine bill,” increases the risk of cancer, and State Senator Gloria Romero wants nothing to do with the once-loved rock. She sponsored the bill, which has received support from the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization and the Consumer Attorneys of California.