Communities come together to provide free sunscreen


“We want to make sure people understand that just being in the sun for 15 or 20 minutes of walking can have a negative effect on your skin if you don’t take precautions.”

Sunscreen dispenser located in the community gardens on Salem Street in Salem. Salem Board of Health and Melanoma Impact

As people flock to beaches, parks, pools and other outdoor spaces this summer, a group of eight communities north of Boston are working to protect them from the harmful effects of the sun. Through a state-funded initiative that began in early July, more than 100 sunscreen dispensers have been installed at 70 locations for free public use in Beverly, Danvers, Lynn, Marblehead, Nahant, Peabody, Salem and Swampscott

“We all understand that melanoma affects each of our communities,” said David Greenbaum, Salem Health agent. “Tackling this issue together really shows the whole region how committed we are to sun protection and preventing all types of skin cancer.”

Municipalities offer North Shore Practice Safe Skin collaboration through an existing network where they work together to address common public health needs. The skin cancer prevention program, which will return next summer, is funded by state money Salem receives to support the collaboration. The communities partner with the nonprofit IMPACT Melanoma, which provides dispensers, sunscreens and related signs and also educates the public about skin cancer at health fairs, summer camps and other venues.

Finish the story at BostonGlobe.com.

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