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Sony Playstations seized over health fears

Dutch officials have blocked sales of the Playstation over fears that it contained too much cadmium.
Dutch officials have blocked sales of the Playstation over fears that it contained too much cadmium.  

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands -- Dutch officials have seized more than 1.3 million Sony Playstations and accessories due to high amounts of cadmium found in the console's cables.

Sony confirmed that the Dutch government blocked sales of its Playstation game machines. The company's latest game machine, the best-selling Playstation 2, was not involved.

"But the health risk is for incorrect disposal (of the cable) only," said David Reeves, Sony Computer Entertainment senior vice president of sales and marketing Europe.

"We have reservations about the interpretation of the law by the Dutch authorities," he added.

Under European Union rules, no goods containing more than 0.01 percent cadmium can be imported.

A Dutch Ministry for Environment spokesman said that large concentrations of cadmium were banned in the Netherlands to prevent it from entering the food chain, in line with EU policy,

"The cables attached to devices belonging to the (consoles) contained much too high values of cadmium," the Dutch government said in a statement.

"The cables, which were examined, contained values of cadmium varying between three and more than 20 times the allowed value."

The Dutch public prosecution office will study the case.

Dutch customs and the state's health inspection service had discovered the consoles and 800,000 accessories -- estimated to be worth around $162 million -- during an inspection of a distribution center in the Netherlands.

Reeves said that Sony was already replacing the peripherals and had started to ship the Playstation game machines again.

Reuters contributed to this report.


• Sony Computer Entertainment Europe

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