Local News

Communities band together to provide free sunscreen

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

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

As people flock to beaches, parks, pools, and other outdoor places this summer, a group of eight communities north of Boston is working to ensure they are protected 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 realize melanoma impacts each of our communities,” Salem Health Agent David Greenbaum said. “Tackling this issue collectively really shows the whole region how committed we are to sun safety and preventing all skin cancers.”


The municipalities are offering the North Shore Practice Safe Skin Collaboration through an existing network in which they work together to address common public health needs. The skin cancer prevention program, which will return next summer, is funded through state grant money Salem receives to support the collaborative. The communities are partnering with the nonprofit IMPACT Melanoma, which is providing the dispensers, sunscreen, and related signage and also educating the public about skin cancer at health fairs, summer camps, and other venues.

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