Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft have all been slammed by Greenpeace for not doing enough to eliminate potentially harmful chemicals and metals from their games consoles.

The body examined materials used inside the Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii, and although i was found they complied with European law, concluded the consoles still contained harmful materials that "needed to be replaced".

Greenpeace had even harsher words for Nintendo. It said that the company's environmental policies were "non-existent" and ranked it at the bottom of the Greenpeace global assessment of "green" technology companies.

Zeina Al-Hajj, Greenpeace's International Toxic Campaign co-ordinator said: "We were shocked with Nintendo; it was our biggest surprise".

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

"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."

The report found that the PS3 and 360 both contained "very high" levels of chemicals, called phthalates, which are used to "soften" flexible materials like wires and cable coatings.

They are not permitted in toys sold in Europe but under EU regulations games consoles are not classed as toys.

The report also uncovered the presence of beryllium, linked to lung cancer, in both the PS3 and Xbox 360, while toxic element bromine was found in all three.

A Nintendo spokesman told BBC News: "We fully comply with all the necessary EU Directives on the Restriction of Hazardous Substances aimed at environmental protection and consumer health and safety".

"Furthermore, in order to ensure our products are safe for use by young children we also take into consideration the standards applicable to toys."

The organisation has called on all technology firms to take immediate action to eliminate toxic chemicals from products.