Maine officials have launched an education campaign to get school systems to reduce their use of toxic pesticides in classrooms and hallways and on athletic fields and playgrounds.

The campaign follows a recent study by the state Department of Agriculture which found that schools routinely use pesticides containing toxic chemicals that may pose a health risk to children.

School systems said they used pesticides both indoors and outside to control ants, mice, lice, wasps, weeds, molds, mildew, and other pests. The federally funded study found that the pesticides often are

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