Researchers from the University of California, San Diego identified a pediatric allergy to nickel most commonly found in electronic devices including smartphones, video game controllers, and, in this case, the iPad.
An 11-year-old boy had a rash present for more than six months. Although he had a history of atopic dermatitis, this particular rash did not respond to standard topical corticosteroid therapy. Physicians learned that the boy often used an original model iPad, which tested positive for nickel.
“By detecting a relevant allergen and controlling his nickel exposure sources, the patient had significant clinical improvement and has remained in remission for 5 months,” said Sharon E. Jacob, MD and Shehla Admani, MD, authors of the article appearing in the journal Pediatrics.
In addition to electronics, other common sources of nickel exposure in children include piercings and dental work. But this is a first for the iPad.
“We have found that allergies like the one reported in this case are extremely rare,” Apple said in a statement. “Apple products are made from the highest quality materials and meet the same strict standards set for jewelry by both the U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission and their counterparts in Europe.
“We rigorously test our products to make sure they are safe for all our customers,” the company said.
Advice to physicians: “With the increasing prevalence of nickel allergy in the pediatric population, it is important for clinicians to continue to consider metallic-appearing electronics and personal effects as potential sources of nickel exposure,” the report concluded.
Bottom line for consumers (patients): a protective case for your device may prevent more than a cracked screen.
(Photo by Brad Flickinger via Flickr)