The State

Dozens of corporations should pay the estimated $1 billion it will cost to remove asbestos from California homes built between 1912 and 1978, when its use was banned, according to a class-action suit filed in Martinez on behalf of three San Francisco Bay Area homeowners and any California residents whose homes contain asbestos. The suit, filed by attorney A. Curtis Sawyer, names 42 firms. It also asked that the companies create a fund to pay for inspection of homes believed to contain asbestos. The fibers, which enter the air when insulation and other asbestos-loaded materials deteriorate, have been linked to cancer and asbestosis.

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