‘Protect Your Skin’ program helping to deliver sun safety information

Touring the Biosphere 2 campus
Touring the Biosphere 2 campus

More than 1 million visitors to five Tucson-area attractions are benefitting from a program that is providing sunscreen and sun safety information.

The Skin Cancer Institute at The University of Arizona Cancer Center is working with Biosphere 2, Pima Air and Space Museum, Reid Park Zoo, Tohono Chul Park and Tucson Botanical Gardens to install sunscreen dispensers in public restrooms at each venue, and to provide sun safety information for guests, staff and volunteers.

“One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Most skin cancer is caused by overexposure to the sun’s powerful rays, for which visitors to Tucson attractions may be unprepared,” said Heather Hiscox, the Skin Cancer Institute’s program development coordinator.

The Protest Your Skin program is being funded by a $10,000 grant from the University of Arizona’s Community Connections Grants program. Hiscox said there are no other Arizona cancer-related organizations working with outdoor venues to prevent skin cancer, and the five organizations have not regularly provided sun protection for their guests.

“This program can serve as a model for future connections with other community agencies and as an example of a citywide campaign targeting outdoor venues,” Hiscox said.

The Skin Cancer Institute for six years has worked with the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum to provide sunscreen, sun safety information and more recently, sun-blocking umbrellas for guests to use as they stroll the museum’s pathways. The Desert Museum has 400,000 visitors annually.

For more information, visit: http://azcc.arizona.edu/sci