Why We Need Sunscreen Dispensers

Brittney Christ

Following in someone else’s footsteps is not always a bad thing.

It was announced that starting on July 1, Boston will begin installing sunscreen dispensers throughout the city. Hand sanitizers have become commonplace and are dispersed all throughout cities nationwide to cut down on illness and to prevent epidemics and improve health.

So why can’t we do the same thing with sunscreen?

Sunscreen has the same benefits. It prevents sunburns and helps to protect against skin cancer such as melanoma. It is protection against what has become a huge problem in the U.S. Skin cancer rates have been steadily increasing since 2002, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

If Sacramento can follow in Boston’s footsteps, we can create a healthier state capital. Sacramento is already home to extensive bike trails, and is number 10 on the fittest cites in the U.S. list. It’s a funny thing, we are right behind Boston at number 9.

84.7 percent of Sacramentans stay physically active as well, boosting up the city of Sacramento in the eyes of the CDC. This means that we are a leader in health and need to make this city an example for the rest of California, as well as the nation.

Installing city-wide sunscreen dispensers would help cut down on the skin cancer rates, as well as promote a healthier dialogue about preventing certain cancers in general. Not to mention, it will bring up why we should ban tanning booths because of this same risk. California gets plenty of sun without the help of cancer-inducing tanning salons.

Matt O’Malley, the Boston city councilor who proposed the initiate himself in April, stated that “skin cancer and melanoma are among the most prevalent cancers, and they’re also among the most preventable.”

Proposing sunscreen dispensers would be an easy thing to achieve in all of Sacramento’s parks, especially those that draw crowds like Land Park, or even somewhere such as the California State Fair.

The nice part is that Sacramento tax payers might get a break too. The Melanoma Foundation of New England and Make Big Change both paid for the sunscreen dispensers in Boston. These two organizations support and fund operations to fight against skin cancer, and surely there are many others here on the West Coast willing to do the same.

We have the means to protect ourselves from skin cancer, so we should. Instead of going to your dermatologist about your new mole, you could be soaking up some sun in the park under the protection of your city-provided sunscreen.