Free sunscreen being offered at Narragansett Town Beach

NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (WPRI) — A Narragansett beach now has touch-free dispensers that provide free sunscreen for beachgoers catching rays.

In a program billed the first of its kind in the state, the town’s parks and recreation department pursued a partnership with a company called Raw Elements, founded by Brian Guadagno, himself a long-time Narragansett Beach lifeguard, the town said last month.

“It wasn’t about being the first entity in Rhode Island. It was really about offering sunscreen protection here at our beach,” said Steve Wright, Narragansett’s director of parks and recreation on Monday.

The company’s SPF 30 sunscreen will be supplied in the dispensers, which are now placed at six entrances to the beach. The automated dispensers will operate during daylight hours now through Labor Day.

The town cited rising skin cancer rates and environmental issues on beaches as the impetus for the dispensers. Part of the reason for the town’s choice of Raw Elements was the company’s commitment to developing sunscreens that are free of chemicals and certified natural.

Guadagno said Friday his lifeguarding position — and the distaste for chemicals — led to his new calling. “I eventually turned my kitchen into a lab, and next thing you know, I was making sunscreen.”