Rhode Island Leads in Skin Cancer Prevention as First State in the Nation to Offer Statewide Complimentary Natural Sunscreen Stations

In a leading effort to protect its residents from skin cancer, the Ocean State has deployed public natural sunscreen dispensers at all state beaches and parks this summer.

RI Governor Gina Raimondo and US Senator Jack Reed join Rhode Island Department of Health, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, The Partnership to Reduce Cancer in Rhode Island, Rhode Island-based South County Dermatology and Raw Elements USA®, a certified natural sunscreen company founded by a long time Rhode Island lifeguard, to bring complimentary, certified natural, environmentally-safe sunscreen dispenser stations to all Rhode Island State Beaches & several Parks for the 2019 summer season.

With 20% non-nano zinc oxide as its sole active ingredient, Raw Elements sunscreen is fully compliant with the new reef-safe sunscreen legislation passed in Hawaii and Key West and meets the FDA's 2019 proposed rule on sunscreen ingredients GRASE (generally recognized as safe and effective) as well as being top rated by The Environmental Working Group for the past eight years.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. There are over 2 million new cases diagnosed and over 5 million people treated each year. Overexposure to the sun is the leading cause of skin cancer. By making sunscreen readily available throughout the State, the Ocean State is helping its millions of sun-seeking residents and visitors take the first step in reducing their risk of developing skin cancer.

"Using sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more is one of the most important things you can do to protect against skin cancer. Skin cancer can affect people of all skin tones and complexions, and the sun's ultraviolet rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes. RIDOH is proud to partner in this critical public health effort to ensure that all Rhode Islanders who visit our State's wonderful beaches have access to sunscreen. Sunscreen is a powerful form of prevention that saves lives!" - Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH

This year, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo announced a new plan to invest into these beaches and parks, Rhode Island's treasures, for the benefit of generations to come.

"Rhode Island's beautiful parks and beaches are some of our most treasured cultural and economic resources, drawing thousands of visitors from across the state and around the county. Offering complimentary sunscreen stations at our public recreation facilities is an important way we can help people of all ages protect themselves against skin cancer this summer." - Governor Gina M. Raimondo

Sun safety is a priority in Rhode Island at both the State and local level in Rhode Island. For the past six years, the Rhode Island Department of Health's Comprehensive Cancer Control Program has worked diligently with state and local parks and recreation partners to improve utilization of sun safe behaviors among outdoor workers, beach-goers, and recreational athletes. The Rhode Island Department of Health, the Partnership to Reduce Cancer in Rhode Island, Brown Dermatology, Lifespan Community Health and NBC 10 will continue to lead summer initiatives providing complimentary Skin Check skin cancer screenings and sun care education throughout the state's beaches and parks.

"In conjunction with Governor Raimondo's initiative to invest in state parks and beaches, DEM is excit-ed to join the RI Department of Health, Raw Elements and other partners to bring complimentary sun-screen to Rhode Island state parks and beaches. This summer, before you ride the waves at Scarborough State Beach or scale the boulders at Lincoln Woods State Park, be sure to stop at the all-natural, Raw Elements sunscreen dispenser station. Your skin will be happy you did!" - DEM Director Janet Coit