This summer, 30 additional public sunscreen dispensers are coming to locations across Canada as part of a pilot project to fight skin cancer by making sunscreen more accessible.
he project is led by Save Your Skin Foundation, with support from the municipalities of Grand Bay-Westfield, NB, Lake Cowichan, BC, New Westminster, BC, Richmond, BC, Riverview, NB, Summerside, PEI, and Westlock, AB – as well as the New Brunswick Fairs and Exhibitions Association, the YMCA Hotel Vancouver, and several businesses in the Penticton Area.
“Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers and also one of the most preventable,” said Dr. Sunil Kalia, Dermatologist and Chair of Sun Safe BC. “Increasing the availability and accessibility of sun safety protections, such as sunscreen, in a variety of recreational and occupational settings can help reduce the risk for skin cancer.”
Last year, the municipalities of Riverview, NB, Summerside, PEI, Brooks, AB, and New Westminster, BC installed dispensers as part of the project. Now, Grand Bay-Westfield, NB, Lake Cowichan, BC, Richmond, BC, and Westlock, AB are getting ready to do the same. Dispensers will also be used by the NB Fairs and Exhibitions Association at fairs across New Brunswick throughout the summer. Additionally, five Penticton businesses and one Vancouver business will house the dispensers for public use. The complete list of locations can be found here.
“The City of New Westminster is pleased to once again support free access to sunscreen at our local outdoor pools,” said Mayor Patrick Johnstone. “Wearing sunscreen is a simple, proactive measure that everyone can take to prevent skin cancer and public dispensers such as these ensure that everyone can be protected.”
The dispensers are automatic and touchless, and provide free, Health Canada approved SPF 30 sunscreen for anyone who needs it. The dispensers contain SPF 30 mineral sunscreen, which is a zinc oxide-based sunscreen, free from common allergens and ingredients such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, retinyl palminate, PEG, perfume, and sodium lauryl sulphate. Click here to view the full list of ingredients.
“Studies show that young people still aren’t taking sun safety seriously despite incidence rates rising every year,” says Kathy Barnard, stage 4 melanoma survivor and Founder of Save Your Skin Foundation. “Skin cancer can be deadly, but it is also highly preventable.”
Applying sunscreen is part of an overall sun-safe way to enjoy the outdoors. First, limit your time in the direct sunlight, especially between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., seek shade, cover up by wearing long sleeves and pants and a wide-brimmed hat. Use sunscreen, specifically one labelled broad-spectrum SPF 30, protect the lips with lip sunscreen or zinc oxide. Apply 20 minutes before sun exposure and reapply every two hours or after swimming.