Game console executives from Sony Microsoft and Nintendo are ducking for cover today after being slammed by Greenpeace who say that the gaming Companies are not doing enough to eliminate potentially harmful chemicals and metals from their games consoles.
“Greenpeace who like to make a name for themselves by getting up the noses of large Corporations often target IT and CE companies because they know they are high profile and that they will get a lot of free publicity” said an angry Sony executive.
According to the BBC, Greenpeace claim that they examined materials used inside the Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3), Microsoft Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii. However calls by ChannelNews to Greenpeace to get access to definitive reseach into the issue were met with silence. “We only have the press release said one Greenpeace executive.
Greenpeace said that while all three machines complied with current laws and regulationa, the consoles still contained harmful materials that “needed to be replaced”.
Nintendo’s environment policies were “non-existent”, Greenpeace added. “Nintendo doesn’t have any environmental policies, ” said Zeina Al-Hajj, Greenpeace’s International Toxic Campaign co-ordinator.
“We were shocked with Nintendo; it was our biggest surprise.” Nintendo is ranked at the bottom of Greenpeace’s global assessment of “green” technology companies. “Recently they added a list of certain commitments they have, which purely comply with legislation,” said Ms Al-Hajj.
The organisation has called on all technology firms to take immediate action to eliminate toxic chemicals from products. The report found that the PS3 and 360 both contained “very high” levels of chemicals, called phthalates, which are used to “soften” flexible materials like wires and cable coatings. They are not permitted in toys sold in Europe but under EU regulations games consoles are not classed as toys.
Ms Al-Hajj said: “We see a gap there. For us this is still a toy. “And whether or not it’s a toy, we do not want these chemicals in our products.” The report found that all three consoles contained varying levels of the toxic element bromine, which is used as a flame retardant.
The presence of beryllium was found in both the PS3 and Xbox 360. The element is not banned under EU law but it has been linked to lung cancer when dust and fumes are created through some recycling processes. A Nintendo spokesman told BBC News: “We fully comply with all the necessary EU Directives on the Restriction of Hazardous Substances aimed at environmental protection and consumer health and safety.
For more on this story go to BBC News.