No, your iPad isn’t trying to kill you

Reports have been greatly exaggerated. 


Mike Wehner


Published Jul 15, 2014   Updated May 30, 2021, 11:15 pm CDT

According to a new report by the American Academy of Pediatrics, an 11-year-old San Diego boy was recently admitted to a local hospital due to an allergic reaction. This would normally not be a newsworthy event, but since the boy’s symptoms seemed to be caused by his iPad, the hand-wringing and nervous twitching began to spread.

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Articles began popping up all over the Web suggesting that if you happen to have a mysterious rash on your body, your iPad is a likely culprit. But what kind of devastating chemical terrorism has Apple wrought with its ultra popular tablet? What dark magic hath Tim Cook and his crew wrought to attack this poor boy, and potentially others as well?!

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It turns out the boy is allergic to nickel. A chemical test by doctors found a nickel compound on the outside of the iPad’s metal casing, and contact with the material brought on a rash, which is what happens when you’re allergic to something. Nickel alloys are used in a variety of applications including electronics, eyeglass frames, pens, paperclips, keys, and countless other items.

Apple doesn’t explicitly state its use of nickel, though the company notes that the iPad Air utilizes approximately 7g of “other metals” in addition to the 86g of aluminum used for the majority of the device’s case.

Approximately 10 percent of females and six percent of males are allergic to nickel, and if you’ve ever gotten a red patch of skin thanks to a piece of cheap silver jewelry, you might be one of them. It’s not life threatening and unless you’re rubbing the metal all over your body in large quantities, it’s nothing more than a nuisance.

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H/T ABC | Photo by bfishadow/Flickr (CC By 2.0) | Remix by fern

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*First Published: Jul 15, 2014, 9:00 am CDT