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Great news: 'green' lightbulbs release carcinogens, toxins

The federal government has a new policy for saving energy: don't turn on the lights, or else.

In another special post for Earth Day, we bring you this story from Newser. Those new eco-friendly compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs may be good for the planet, but German scientists are warning that they pose a significant risk for human beings:

In a new report, scientists in Germany warn that compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) emit carcinogenic chemicals and toxins—including phenol, naphthalene, and styrene—when turned on, resulting in what one scientists describes as "electrical smog." Because of that, they should be used "very economically" and "should not be used in unventilated areas and definitely not in the proximity of the head," he adds.

British scientists say more research is needed while "officials" claim they are perfectly safe to use.

The latest report follows claims from scientists and other organizations that the bulbs could contribute to higher breast cancer rates and cause skin problems or migraines.

Glenn has sounded off on the CFLs and subsequent government ban on old incandescent bulbs.  Additionally, Stephen Colbert has complained about CFLs' "girlie" shape and Sen. Rand Paul has argued against the bulb ban as a restriction on consumer freedom.

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