A Greenpeace report has called video game consoles a "toxic menace", saying they contain chemicals that could affect memory and sexual development.
The environmental pressure group said it had tested Sony’s PlayStation 3, Nintendo’s Wii and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 consoles and found they all contained hazardous chemicals and materials such as polyvinyl chloride, phthalates, beryllium and bromine.
“The technology is already available for manufacturers to design out harmful toxics and produce cleaner game consoles now,” Greenpeace said in a report this week.
“A greener, cleaner game console is possible. There’s no excuse for playing dirty.”
Greenpeace said the consoles also contributed to e-waste, ending up in unsafe recycling dumps in developing countries.
All three companies defended their products, saying they complied with environmental standards.
“In line with these standards, Sony ensures globally consistent management of chemical substances in parts and materials,” said a statement issued by Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
“We are taking steps wherever possible to reduce and substitute these substances.”
A Nintendo spokesman said the company was in no position to comment on the Greenpeace tests, but added, “What we can say is that we only sell products that have cleared each nation’s strict standards.”
A Microsoft statement said the company’s products “exceed guidelines and regulations which aim to reduce the environmental impact of consumer electronics.”
The multi-billion dollar video game industry is one of the fastest growing in the world.