Saturday, February 26, 2011

Marty Lynn Baskins/Asbestos in Hospitals

We have received a question concerning convicted felon Marty Lynn Baskins of Florence. Baskins' first noted foray into crime occurred in September 2007 when he was charged with four counts of illegal possession and use of credit cards. The then 20 year-old was sentenced to a stint in Lauderdale County Community Corrections.

According to a reliable source, in 2008, Baskins tested positive for marijuana and was remanded to the Lauderdale County Detention Center. In March of 2009, Baskins was again for whatever reason a free man and participated in a home invasion in Killen. Baskins, along with three other men, severely beat their victim and stole $200.00.

Baskins pleaded guilty to these charges and, again for whatever reason, was this time given probation. Two months later, Baskins shot into an occupied automobile, hitting a passenger in the head. Baskins' victim was not seriously hurt. In September 2009, Baskins was again arrested for breaking into a vehicle, two counts of theft, and 20 counts of the unlawful use of a credit card. These crimes merited the now 22 year-old actual prison time.

Where is he serving it? If you guessed the Lauderdale County Community Correction facility, you are indeed astute. Marty Lynn Baskins will end his sentence on January 6, 2012.

Note: Since Baskins is serving a state sentence, he is eligible for parole. If you would like to protest any early release for Baskins, please write:

Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles
Re: Marty Lynn Baskins, AIS #255211
Post Office Box 302405
Montgomery, Alabama 36130-2405


Asbestos In Hospitals

A Guest Commentary By

Eric Stevenson

Hospital safety is an extremely complex field, with many human and environmental factors to account for. Preventing the spread of contagious disease is, of course, a very high priority, but there are other dangers that need to be kept in mind. One of these is the dangerous mineral asbestos, which, before the 1980s, was included in many construction materials to increase their strength and heat resistance. Asbestos-cement sheet was used in the construction of many public structures, including hospitals. Tragically, we now know that asbestos is responsible for health problems like lung scarring, asbestosis, and even symptoms of mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer of the lining of the lungs.

A 2008 report by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration stated that the highest OSHA fines imposed on hospitals were due to asbestos violations, costing the health care facilities an average of $8,000 per citation. For comparison, blood borne pathogen citations – the most commonly-cited OSHA standard for hospitals – averaged only around $600 per citation. Environmental Health and Engineering expert Bryan Connors attributed this to aging buildings that required renovation and a lack of understanding of the intricacies of the hospital environment.

Renovations are an extremely common source of asbestos hazard. While the asbestos-containing materials like cement sheeting are intact, the fibers remain harmless, but when they are disturbed, as happens during renovation or removal, they are released into the air. Breathing these fibers in can, over time, cause mesothelioma symptoms. It is imperative that hospitals follow all proper OSHA and EPA standards while performing construction or renovation, employing professional abatement teams who have the proper protective equipment and isolating any affected areas from the rest of the building’s occupants.

Luckily, mesothelioma remains a rare form of cancer, but it is highly deadly. Mesothelioma life expectancy is poor – the five year survival rate is only around 10%. Hospital staff, especially those working in older buildings, need to be aware of the dangers posed by asbestos. New construction and insulation materials containing safe and often environmentally-friendly alternatives to asbestos need to be installed if the asbestos-containing materials are in poor condition. Paying attention to environmental hazards will not only protect the health of the occupants, but also save the hospital from costly fines.