- Associated Press - Thursday, June 30, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) - New York City’s comptroller has proposed placing free sunscreen dispensers at all city public parks, beaches, pools and playgrounds to help reduce the risk of skin cancer.

Comptroller Scott Stringer made his proposal in a policy brief released Wednesday.

“Skin cancer is a serious public health concern, and it demands government attention,” he said.

The dispensers could be installed “at virtually no cost” to the city through public-private partnerships, said Stringer.

He said New York City should look closely at similar programs that are run by Boston and Miami Beach.

Boston’s program is funded by public health organizations. It has about 20 free sunscreen dispensers in city parks and plans to expand the program this summer.

In Miami Beach, the city has a licensing agreement with a private company that operates the dispensers to produce Miami Beach brand sunscreen at no cost to taxpayers.

According to the American Cancer Society, about 5.4 million skin cancers are diagnosed in the U.S. each year.

Stringer said research shows that 30-plus SPF sunscreen can provide necessary protections against the sun’s harmful rays and drastically reduce the risk of skin cancer.

The New York Times reports that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office said it would review Stringer’s proposal.

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