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Legislative findings; asbestos   

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(a) The Legislature finds that:

(1) There is substantial scientific and medical evidence that human exposure to asbestos fibers significantly increases the likelihood of contracting cancer and other debilitating or fatal diseases such as asbestosis.

(2) Medical and epidemiological evidence suggests that children exposed to asbestos fibers may be especially susceptible to the environmentally induced diseases associated with the exposure.

(3) Substantial amounts of asbestos materials were used in school construction during the period from 1946 through 1973 for fireproofing, soundproofing, decoration, and other purposes.

(4) When these materials age, deteriorate, or become damaged or friable, they release asbestos fibers into the ambient air. This can result in the exposure of school children and school employees to potentially dangerous levels of asbestos fibers.

(5) The presence of asbestos in the air in concentrations far exceeding the normal ambient levels has been found in schools, especially where the asbestos materials have reached a damaged, deteriorated, or disturbed state as a result of abuse, abrasion, water leakage, or forced air circulation.

(6) In view of the fact that the State of California has compulsory attendance laws for children of school age, and these children must be educated in a safe and healthy environment, the hazard presented by asbestos materials in the schools is of special concern to the Legislature.

(b) As a result of the findings in subdivision (a), it is the intent of the Legislature to provide for the safe and expeditious containment or removal of asbestos materials posing a hazard to health in schools.

(c) As used in this section and Sections 49410.2 and 49410.5, the following terms have the following meanings:

(1) "Asbestos" means naturally occurring hydrated mineral silicates separable into commercially used fibers: specifically chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, tremolite, anthrophyllite, and actinolite.

(2) "Asbestos materials" means materials formed by mixing asbestos fibers with other products, including, but not limited to, rock wool, plaster, cellulose, clay, vermiculite, perlite, and a variety of adhesives. Some of these materials may be sprayed on surfaces or applied to surfaces in the form of plaster or a textured paint.

(3) "Hazard to health" means that the asbestos material is loose, friable, flaking, or dusting, or is likely to become so within the service life of the material in place.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 1751, Sec. 7.)