Kelowna’s first two public sunscreen dispensers are now in place in the Kelowna Visitor’s Centre and Kelowna Golf & Country Club.
The dispensers and the sunscreen are sponsored by Moxie’s Restaurant.
“There will be more dispensers by next spring because seven more sponsors have come forward and I’m getting lots of calls from other potential sponsors too,” said Karen Wells of Morgan’s Mole Patrol.
Wells started the Kelowna-based patrol in honour of her son, Morgan, who died of melanoma at age 33 in 2016.
Wells herself is a four-year survivor of melanoma.
Moles are the most common indication of melanoma and other skin cancers.
Morgan has partnered with the Save Your Skin Foundation to launch the two free public sunscreen dispensers so people can lather up and avoid skin cancer.
Melanoma is a largely preventable cancer if people wear sunscreen while outdoors and limit time in the direct sunlight, especially during the hottest time of the day 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
A hat, light-coloured and loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirt and pants are a good idea.
Sunscreen should be at least SPF (sun-protection factor) 30 and be labelled broad-spectrum to protect against both UVA (ultraviolet A-type, long-wave light) and UVB (ultraviolet B-type, short-wave light).
Sunscreen should be applied 20 minutes before sun exposure and reapplied every two hours and every time after swimming.
The sunscreen in the Kelowna dispensers is from California company Bright Guard Natural, which manufactures both the sunscreen and the dispensers.
The sunscreen is SPF 30 and free of dangerous ingredients such as paraben, oxybenzone, retinyl palminate, phthalate, PEG, parfume and sodium lauryl sulphate.
The dispenser is automatic and touchless.
Morgan’s and the Save Your Skin Foundation launch a third free public screen dispenser at New Westminster Pier Park.
The goal is to have the dispensers at locations throughout the province, especially beaches where they are most needed.
Beaches will be an option as soon as the dispensers are made more vandal proof.