Electronic kids tablets tested for chemical hazards
December 16, 2013
Kids tablets test worse than mobile phones
A new study released by Michigan-based HealthyStuff.org today found lead, PVC and hazardous flame retardants contained in the interior components of some of the most popular electronic tablets for children. The study comes out just as many families are considering holiday gifts of electronic devices for their children. One hundred and three samples were analyzed in four tablets including the LeapFrog LeadPad 2 Explorer, Fuhu Nabi Jr., Kurio touch 4S, and the VTech InnoTab 3. Full test results are available at HealthyStuff.org.
Every tablet sampled in this study contained at least one of following hazardous chemicals: lead, bromine (brominated flame retardants - BFRs), and chlorine (PVC). These hazardous substances can pollute throughout a product’s life cycle, including when the minerals are extracted; when they are processed; during tablet manufacturing; and at the end of the tablets useful life. Emissions during disposal and recycling of tablets as electronic waste, or “e-waste,” are particularly problematic.
These products are very similar to smart phones. For comparison, Apple and other electronic industry groups consider a material PVC-free and BFR-free if it contains less than 900 ppm for bromine and 900 ppm for chlorine (Apple 2011). All tablets tested for this study contained multiple component samples that contained PVC and BFRs. When the tablets were compared to a HealthyStuff.org 2012 study that examined the toxic chemicals in 38 mobile phones, the tablets tested 50% worse (more hazardous) than recent model mobile phones.
Click below to view the rankings:
Fuhu Nabi Jr.
Kurio touch 4S
VTech InnoTab 3
LeapFrog LeapPad 2 Explorer