In March of this year, the city of Miami, FL installed 50 sunscreen dispensers in pools, parks and lifeguard stations along their famous stretches of beach. They became the first city in the country to attempt to take a strong stand against skin cancer; an issue that the US Surgeon General has deemed a major public health problem.
One month after this ground breaking movement, we read that Boston City Councilor Matt O’Malley wanted to install free sunscreen dispensers in all of Boston‘s parks and playgrounds. That’s 220 locations helping protect the citizens of Boston from skin cancer. And just this past week, it was announced that Boston will actually be going through with it. A major win for the city and its residents.
According to the American Cancer Society, every year in the US, doctors diagnose about 3.5 million cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancer. In addition to those cases, 73,000 people are diagnosed with melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer. Melanoma is expected to take the lives of 10,000 this year alone.
All over Long Beach there are plastic bag dispensers for dog owners to pick up after their pets. And more and more hand sanitizer dispensers are popping up in various locales. So what if we took a page from Boston and Miami and installed sunscreen dispensers of our own? We imagine not only providing the free lotion, but also helping educate about the importance of sun protection in general.
What do you think, LB? Is this an innovative approach worth fighting for?