2013 Children's Tablets

For this study, tested four tablets; the VTech InnoTab 3, the Fuhu Nabi Jr., the LeapFrog LeapPad 2 Explorer and the Kurio touch 4S.

Summary of Findings:

  • All tablets contained at least one or more chemicals of concern at detectable levels (40 ppm), including chemicals such as As, Br, Cl, Cr, Pb, Sb and Sn.
  • When the tablets were compared to a 2012 study that examined the toxic chemicals in 38 mobile phones, the tablets tested 50% worse (more hazardous) than recent model mobile phones.
  • The LeapFrog LeapPad 2 Explorer and the Fuhu Nabi Jr. ranked as the least toxic tablets, with both scoring 3.9 in our 5.0 scale (see methodology).
  • The Kurio touch 4 S scored 4.6 while the Vtech InnoTab3 scored 5.0 (see methodology).
  • The circuit board components of all four tablets had bromine levels above 10,000 parts per million, suggesting the use of brominated flame retardants. The highest level of bromine detected was 16,683 ppm found in a circuit board component of the Vtech InnoTab3 tablet.
  • The highest level of chlorine detected was 184,550 ppm in the battery of the Kurio touch 4S.
  • All tablets tested for this study contained multiple component samples that contained PVC and BFRs. 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).

In 2012, released a study that examined the toxic chemicals in 38 mobile phones. Every phone sampled in this study contained at least one of following hazardous chemicals: lead, bromine, chlorine, mercury and cadmium. When the tablets were compared to a 2012 study that examined the toxic chemicals in 38 mobile phones, the tablets tested 50% worse (more hazardous) then recent model mobile phones. Click here to see the ranking of mobile phones and the tablets.

Tablets and E-waste

A new study finds that in five years the yearly amount of e-waste will rise 33 per cent from the 49 million tons of used electrical and electronic items generated in 2012.

Learn more about responsible electronics recycling from the Electronic TakeBack Coalition

Suggested mobile phone recyclers: Go to e-stewards to find a responsible recycler. The companies below have signed the e-stewards pledge to not export e-waste to developing countries:

Capstone Wireless - Use their website to request a free UPS shipping label. They have a buy back program, so you may get money back for your old phone or tablet.

Call2Recycle - The Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corp also accepts old cell phones or tablets for free recycling. They have drop off sites in many cities (usually in stores). Use their location finder to enter your zip code to find the closest.

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