Heading to the lake? Free sunscreen available

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HARRISBURG – The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn has announced expansion of a program offering free sunscreen for visitors at state park beaches and swimming pools throughout Pennsylvania.

“Protection from ultraviolet rays is critical as the weather warms and we spend more time outdoors,” Dunn said. “With Memorial Day Weekend here, we want to promote safe outdoor activity and remind outdoors enthusiasts that more than 8,500 Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer each day. We are again extremely grateful that the Department of Health (DOH) and its Division of Cancer Prevention is partnering with us to support and expand this important project that has a tremendous impact across the commonwealth.”

Experts say daily application of a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher can aid in prevention of skin cancer. Health officials report one in 40 Pennsylvanians will be diagnosed with melanoma in their lifetime.

Pole-mounted, battery-operated dispensers, supplying 30+ SPF BrightGuard sunscreen applications, will be positioned at 33 state parks including Caledonia, Cowans Gap and Pine Grove Furnace.

DCNR’s sunscreen program began in 2017 when its Bureau of State Parks began supplying free sunscreen at Codorus and Pine Grove Furnace state parks. The program now has the potential to reach an estimated 1.5 million visitors this season.

“Our sunscreen program is key in helping park visitors prevent harmful exposure to the sun,” State Parks Director John Hallas said. “We look forward to seeing millions of visitors this summer season and encourage visitors to take advantage of the free sunscreen offering as they enjoy state parks.”

A cancer prevention fund from DOH covers the costs of the sunscreen. DCNR is pursuing opportunities to partner with local health organizations and healthcare system providers to cover future costs and to further expand the program.