Free Sunscreen: Miami Beach to Put 50 Dispensers in Public Spaces

June 22, 2015 Updated: June 22, 2015

If you walk along South Beach right now, you might notice something strange, even by Florida standards: Dotting the sandscapes are sky-blue boxes that supply free sunscreen. In a novel experiment this year, Mount Sinai Medical Center partnered with the City of Miami Beach to put 50 dispensers in public spaces, and those dispensers are full of radiation-mitigating goo, free to any and all passersby. 

(AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
(AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Preventable skin cancer kills thousands every year, but the number-one reason people said they use sunscreen was not because they care about cancer, but because they care about burns.

“Skin cancer rates are on the rise despite melanoma being the single most preventable cause of cancer,” said Mount Sinai melanoma program director Jose Lutzky in a recent press statement. “Free sunscreen should be as readily available as public drinking water.” Except, just not coming out of dirty fountains. Mount Sinai is funding the refilling of the Miami dispensers for approximately two years, at which point the taxpayers may take over. Or they may not, and the posts on which the dispensers are mounted will rot, and the dispensers will be washed into the ocean and become crab homes.

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