Harmful Chemicals and Metals from Game Consoles Still Not Eliminated: Green Peace

by Hannah Punitha on  May 22, 2008 at 7:10 PM Environmental Health
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 Harmful Chemicals and Metals from  Game Consoles Still Not Eliminated: Green Peace
Companies like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo keep introducing newer versions of their gaming consoles, but Greenpeace has claimed that they are still not doing much to eliminate potentially harmful chemicals and metals from their game consoles.

After examining materials used inside the Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3), Microsoft Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii, Greenpeace claimed that despite complying with European laws, all the three machines still had materials that "needed to be replaced".

According to Zeina Al-Hajj, Greenpeace's International Toxic Campaign co-ordinator, Nintendo had "non-existent" environment policies and is rests at the last position in Greenpeace's global assessment of "green" technology companies.

"Nintendo doesn't have any environmental policies. We were shocked with Nintendo; it was our biggest surprise," BBC quoted Al-Hajj, as saying.

She added: "Recently they added a list of certain commitments they have, which purely comply with legislation."

And now, this environment protection body has asked all the technology firms to come up with immediate solutions in order to do away with toxic chemicals from products.

According to the report, both PS3 and 360 were full of "very high" levels of chemicals, called phthalates, used for softening flexible materials like wires and cable coatings.

In Europe, these chemicals are not permitted in toys, however, under EU regulations games consoles do not come under toys' category.

"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," said Al-Hajj.

Also, it was discovered that all three consoles had varying levels of the toxic element bromine, used as a flame retardant, and also traces of beryllium were seen in both the PS3 and Xbox 360. While beryllium is not banned under EU law, it is believed to cause lung cancer if dust and fumes are created through some recycling processes.

Greenpeace admitted that it was concerned of the fact that there was no "safe way" to dispose of old consoles and thus asked makers of games console to come up with return and recycle policies.

They have also blamed Sony for not agreeing to eliminate PVC and BFR from its games consoles, despite ensuring their removal from its mobile products.

"Sony has a very good record in our ranking guide. They have committed to eliminating these chemicals from mobile devices. But why are we finding them in such high percentages in a console? This is a tool used by children in our homes," said Ms Al-Hajj.

She also said that the electronics industry should now take up to them to ensure the production of environmental friendly game consoles.

"This is one of the most innovative industries we have on the planet. This is an industry that is changing our way of life and if it does not take these challenges upon themselves to be more green, we are going to be in deep trouble very, very soon. It is not enough just to comply with the law for such an industry," she said.

Source: ANI

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