This May, during Melanoma Skin Cancer Detection & Prevention Month, the Melanoma Foundation of New England will distribute 190 free public sunscreen dispensers in 54 locations across the U.S. as part of the non-profit’s Practice Safe Skin program aimed at stopping the spread of skin cancer. Upton and Mendon are among the lucky locations to receive dispensers.
“We are thrilled to expand on our highly successful pilot and offer sunscreen units for public and private distribution throughout the country,” said Deb Girard, Executive Director, MFNE. “We hope sunscreen dispensers will become as commonplace as hand sanitizers over the next few years.”
Mendon Parks and Recreation Director Dan Byer applied for the grant in January, he forwarded the information about the program to the Regional School District who also applied for the grant.
Dispensers will be placed at Mendon Beach, Mendon Playground, Miscoe Hill Middle School in Mendon, and Nipmuc Regional High School in Upton.
“I think it’s a great benefit to the community and will help raise awareness of the importance of skin care and melanoma risks,” said Byer. “Everyone thinks of sunscreen when they go the beach but there’s just as much risk when you’re outside at a playground or baseball game too,” he said.
“It is all too easy to forget to protect yourself from over-exposure to the sun,” said Mendon Selectman Rich Schofield. “Anything that helps not only raise awareness but provides something to help is both welcomed and appreciated,” he said.
Each sunscreen dispenser is equipped with four 1000 mL bags of sunscreen (670 applications per bag) and contains an all-natural blend of 6% zinc and 6% titanium SPF-30 sunscreen, safe for people aged 6-months and up. Ingredients are printed on the machines upon installation.
Melanoma is rising faster than any other cancer with one person every 50 minutes dying from the disease. Studies show that with daily sunscreen protection, the risk of melanoma is preventable.