Toxic Tablets Expose Kids to Array of Chemicals

Are those popular electronic learning games worth the risk?

December 20, 2013


Your child's favorite electronic learning tablet could come with a side of flame retardants, thanks to lackluster federal regulations that allow all sorts of toxic compounds to seep into toys in the U.S.


Electronic tablets offer some pretty incredible educational benefits, but a new report from, a group that uncovers toxic chemicals in everyday products, detected concerning chemicals in toxic toys that come in contact with children during critical periods of their development.

Testing detected the heavy metal lead, poisonous PVC plastic, and hazardous flame retardants hiding out in the interior components of popular electronic tablets for children.

These compounds are likely most polluting during the mineral extraction, processing, manufacturing, and end of the toy tablets' life, but can also turn up in household dust. compares the popular little tablets to e-waste generated from smartphones—and found the tablets appear to contain 50 percent more hazardous compounds than recent cellphone models.

After testing 100 samples of the four different tablets, the results turned up at least one of the following hazardous chemicals: lead, brominated flame retardants, and chlorine.

Read More: Are iPads Safe?

Here's what was inside of the toxic toys:

Fuhu Nabi Jr.

•Chlorine (PVC) in the buttons

•Flame retardants and heavy metals in the circuit board

Kurio Touch 4S

•Flame retardants in the circuit board and processor

•Chlorine (PVC) in other parts of the product

VTech InnoTab 3

•Flame retardants and heavy metals in the circuit board

•Chlorine (PVC) in the buttons

LeapFrog LeapPad 2 Explorer

•Lead and flame retardants in the circuit board

•Other heavy metals in the screen and circuit board

For more information on everyday chemicals that could harm children, read 10 Suspect Causes of Autism.