"Weak excuses" of games console makers over toxic chemicals


"Weak excuses" of games console makers over toxic chemicals

Rebecca Thomson

Games console makers are lagging behind PC manufacturers in removing toxic materials from their products.

Gaming giants like Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony have yet to drop toxic substances such as brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and PVC from their products.

Environmental charity Greenpeace says Sony has in large part removed these chemicals from products such as the Vaio laptop, acknowledging that they are hazardous, but it has no plans to drop them from the Playstation.

Microsoft has pledged to remove the chemicals from its games consoles, but not until 2011.

Greenpeace said Nintendo has a "vague plan" to remove PVC but no commitment to a specific date.

Greenpeace publishes its Guide to Green Electronics every three months, which aims to encourage manufacturers to remove toxic substances from products. The hazardous substances cause damage to the environment during the manufacturing stage, while the products are being used and especially during disposal.

Many electronic goods can be illegally dumped in Africa and Asia. The toxic chemicals in many of them can harm the people who search the dumps for valuable materials.

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