Free sunscreen dispensers coming to City parks

Free sunscreen dispensers will come Boston parks as part of a pilot program inspired by City Councilor Matt O’Malley, the City recently announced.

Mayor Martin Walsh announced this month that 30 dispensers will be installed in five City parks, in partnership with the Melanoma Foundation of New England and Make Big Change, a skin-cancer prevention nonprofit. The nonprofits will pay for the devices.

“Preventing skin cancer is a public health imperative,” said Walsh in a press release. “Strategically placed sunscreen dispensers offer the public an easy preventive measure to avoid sun overexposure.”

No timeline for the installations were announced, or how many each park will get. The five test parks include the Boston Common; Christopher Columbus Park in the North End; East Boston Stadium and Memorial Park; Jamaica Pond Park; and Millennium Park in West Roxbury.

O’Malley, who represents part of the Back of the Hill area, in April called for such sunscreen dispensers and told the Gazette the idea was suggested to him by a dermatology student.

“Skin cancer and melanoma are among the most prevalent cancers,” O’Malley said in a press release. “They’re also among the most preventable. I am proud to partner with Mayor Walsh and the Melanoma Foundation of New England to provide sunscreen dispensers to residents and tourists, as well as increase awareness of the importance of protecting your skin. Once again, Boston will lead the way.”

A similar program recently started in Miami Beach, Fla. The city of Mt. Lebanon, Pa., a Pittsburgh suburb, also recently installed a sunscreen dispenser in a park.

The hand-operated machines will dispense SPF-30 sunscreen to be hand-applied. All of the ingredients will be printed on the machines upon installation.

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