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Game consoles contain harmful materials, Greenpeace finds

Ross Miller

We can see it now: Local news blips in commercial breaks during LOST, warning you and your family of the "invisible killer lurking in your house ... and you let him in!" But before you start throwing flour all over the house in the hopes of it sticking onto the hidden hitman, said invisible killer might be bromine and phthalates, toxic chemicals that Greenpeace recently found pervade some hardware components of the current generation of consoles.

According to their lab findings, the PlayStation 3's AV cables contained phthalates up to 21.2 percent by weight, while the housing on the cooling fan had "the highest level of bromine found in all components tested from all three consoles," 13.8 percent by weight. The Xbox 360's power cable contained phthalates up to 27.5 percent by weight. Both console's controllers were noted for having low levels of bromine.

The Nintendo Wii, while having bromine up to 12.5 percent by weight in its internal housing, was praised for having no beryllium, which can cause lung disease. Check out the Greenpeace page for more information. So we must ask, will bromine and pthalates blend?

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