Serpentine is California’s official state rock. Serpentine contains asbestos, a toxic, carcinogenic substance that is highly regulated at federal and state levels, including CARB, California Air Resources Board.
Serpentine is a magnesium silicate mineral. It contains three morphological forms: lizardite, a relatively soft platelike material; antigorite, another platelike material slightly harder than lizardite; and chrysotile, occurring in fibrous veins that readily separate into strong, thin, heat-resistant fibers we know as asbestos.
CARB warns that serpentine contains asbestos and poses a threat to humans upon exposure. For that reason, CARB has restricted its use in unpaved road surface materials.
Serpentine rock occurs commonly in many areas of California, where it is exposed to the atmosphere and releases asbestos fibers into the air we breathe. Next, CARB may restrict Californians from hiking the hills, lest they breathe in 'toxic' mountain air falsely believed as fresh.
California’s choice of state icons and CARB’s regulatory restrictions appear at odds with one another.
California was the first state to designate an official state rock. Perhaps it will consider petroleum as California’s State Liquid. Absurdity seems to reign in the state. In the meantime, we wonder if California’s controlling Left hand knows, or cares, what the other is doing.