Mayor Grebien Announces UV Umbrella Program
PAWTUCKET – Mayor Donald R. Grebien in tandem with the Pawtucket Cancer Control Task Force announced that the City of Pawtucket has purchased a number of UV resistant umbrellas using a skin cancer prevention grant from the Rhode Island Department of Health.
The umbrellas are lined with a material that resists UV radiation, which is the type of solar radiation which causes skin damage. Along with sunscreen and protective clothing such as hats, pants, and long sleeves, they provide exceptional protection from UV radiation.
The program, the brainchild of the Pawtucket Cancer Control Task Force and the City, is part of a greater effort to encourage skin cancer awareness. The Task Force has partnered with various walking groups and organizations throughout the city.
The current batch of umbrellas are available to be borrowed by the walking club at the Leon Mathieu Senior Center’s walking club, which currently meets on Mondays at 1 pm. The umbrellas available there are loaned out to participants of the club, with plans to expand to other groups through other organizations by next summer, and possibly make the umbrellas available to the general public.
A particular target of the program is Melanoma, the deadliest and most aggressive form of skin cancer. It is caused by cumulative exposure to UV radiation over time, and affects all skin types. Melanoma has been on the rise nationally and in Rhode Island over the last 20 years, with the number of cases diagnosed rising 30.6% in Rhode Islanders.
Arthur Plitt of Pawtucket Cancer Control Task Force stated that “The goal of this program is to not only provide an easy, fast, and effective method of skin protection, but to also spread awareness of Melanoma and its deadly effects”. Mr. Plitt continued by saying, “It’s often not something you think about until it affects you or someone you care about, and we aim to change that.”
“It’s extremely important that we keep out residents informed about the dangers of too much sun exposure”, said Mayor Grebien, “Keeping Pawtucket healthy and safe is our main goal with this program.”