"Concern Over Pesticide Use at Schools Rises"

"Parents are becoming more aware as some schools in the state are not moving to reduce pesticide use."

"Until she read a newspaper article about pesticide use on school grounds, Marla Zando of Scarborough was unaware that chemicals used on playgrounds or ballfields could hurt children.

'I really, really never had thought about it,' she said. 'And I sort of think of myself as being environmentally aware,' but 'wow, it was really eye-opening. I really was clueless, very, very clueless.

'Kids love to play in the dirt,' said Zando, the mother of a 4-year-old son. 'You don't know when (pesticides) are there; you can't see them. I find it very scary.'

Zando began asking questions of physicians, members of the town council, even bird watchers -- people she knew would be knowledgeable about the subject -- to find out about synthetic pesticides and their potential health effects.

Numerous studies have linked pesticide use at certain levels to a variety of learning disabilities, hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder, cancers and developmental problems, especially in younger children."

North Cairn reports for the Portland Press Herald January 1, 2013.

Source: Portland Press Herald, 01/03/2013