back to article Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad

A report in the American Journal of Pediatrics suggests that the presence of Nickel in Apple's first-generation iPad may have exacerbated an eleven-year-old child's dermatitis. iPad—Increasing Nickel Exposure in Children tells the story of an un-named child who suffered persistent and severe rashes. The report's authors, …

Nickel allergies can be nasty. I once had a friend who discovered the hard way that the bright finish on a particular sex toy she liked had nickel in it...not a good scene. Aluminum-clad devices are, presumably, not likely to cause this particular problem.

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Aluminium oxide and aluminium are physically tough but I'd be worried about chemical reaction with body fluids, which are chemically complicated. Aluminium is also quite reactive when the thin oxide coating is removed. It's not a good idea to have strange metal compounds inside your body. Stay with the various plastics which are approved for this type of application.

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Given that skin contact dermatitis is generally due to prolonged exposure I can only assume "your friend" had a mains powered one?!

On a more serious note, most people who get this is from the nickel in stainless steel on the back or strap of their watch - thankfully titanium is now much cheaper and at least in my case seems not to cause the reaction.

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Titanium...

... is often plated with nickel to prevent scratching. (Titanium, like many other materials with high tensile strength, is soft and scratches very easily)

It is surprising that it's an Apple product, because Apple have experienced the issue of Nickel-allergies before, and should therefore know better than to make the same mistakes again. When they launched the 2001 PowerBook G4 with its pressed Titanium casework, there ware a lot of complaints of skin rashes due to this nickel plating used on the Ti panels (again, to "harden" them from scratching). The use of Ti on the palm-rest panel in particular resulted in the worst possible scenario as the user's palms and wrists constantly rubbed against the metal while typing.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Stainless Steel watch backs

IN an odd twist, while I have no skin reactions to prolonged exposure to stainless steel, the stainless steel has a negative reaction to prolonged exposure to my skin. a stainless steel watchband will last me about a year before it is reduced to a blackend, crumbling, pitted mess.

Again, the solution is Ti, which has held up for several years so far.

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Re: RE: Stainless Steel watch backs

the stainless steel has a negative reaction to prolonged exposure to my skin

I rather like your ability to wreak revenge on hardware. We'll have to keep you around when the War on the Machines finally breaks out :)

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Devil

Re: RE: Stainless Steel watch backs

Sounds a bit like a guy I once worked with in a piano repair workshop. Any tool (screwdriver, pliers etc.) he used would be covered in something resembling rust within a few days!

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Re: RE: Stainless Steel watch backs

Tool-rot - very nasty!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Tool-rot

I once had a nasty case of tool rot after a sex vacation in Thailand.

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So this really illustrates The Register's nature as defined by negativity. Sure it's a mildly interesting tidbit. Yet Apple completed their WWDC conference this year, which was highly successful and packed full of genuinely interesting tech news and future direction for their platform yet there was barely a mention of what had occurred. Instead we have been witnessing a swing to the old and crusty. The Register has been focussing increasingly on an old fashioned IT administrator crowd. It's becoming like a bunch of ex-PC-World magazine journalists shaking a stick at the "Idiot young'uns who don't know how real computing is done." This has attracted the bitter cynical PC junior administrator crowd, many of whom were only ever really slightly more specialist PC system users tasked with little more responsibility than having to wipe the arses of other less Aspergic users, and bitter for having to do so. Now the world is moving on and job specs are shrinking further as IT infrastructure moves to the cloud, food for the bitter is getting squeezed out of the near empty toothpaste tube in the form of The Register articles.

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WTF?

Twitter and Bisted

"Now the world is moving on and job specs are shrinking further as IT infrastructure moves to the cloud, food for the bitter is getting squeezed out of the near empty toothpaste tube in the form of The Register articles."

W

T

F

?

?

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Re: Twitter and Bisted

Nearly..

R

D

F

!

!

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Roo
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Windows

"The Register has been focussing increasingly on an old fashioned IT administrator crowd."

You have taken quite a few downvotes, but I think the point you made above is a fair one, I have been lamenting that particular trend for many years now. Have an upvote for that point at least. :)

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Negativity?

Actually, it is sheer stupidity to use nickel in an item that is going to be in prolonged skin contact; jewelers have known this for years. Remember, we're talking premium product here, so there's no excuse.

As for the negativity, there was barely a mention of what happened at WWDC because it was extremely boring - if you think there was 'genuinely interesting tech news' at this conference, please - just tell me what it was, because I must have slipped into a coma during all the self-congratulatory emptiness.

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Re: Negativity?

Let me help you out with the interesting bits. They announced iOS(next), OS X(next), SDK for (next), yet another new programming language, i flavored X10 and the next magical and revolutionary is in the works. Did I miss anything?

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@Roo

Get off my goddamned lawn.

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Roo
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Windows

Re: @Roo

"Get off my goddamned lawn."

No worries, you can keep your lawn Trevor. For the record I think there is room for both kinds of lawn at El Reg, I just wish that El Reg could find a bit more space for the other kind... :)

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Re: @Roo

The internet is full of vacillating drain bramaged novelty seekers. Can't we just have ONE place in tech reporting that encourages skepticism?

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Windows

Re: @Roo

"The internet is full of vacillating drain bramaged novelty seekers. Can't we just have ONE place in tech reporting that encourages skepticism?"

I am quite happy with the Reg as far as skepticism goes, although I think that it has gone a bit soft in comparison to say 10 years ago - or perhaps I have become too jaded by the endless press releases.

Change is inevitable, and I think that El Reg has handled change over the years better than most. :)

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Re: @Roo

Well I'm right skeptical, damn it!

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Anonymous Coward

Looks like an apple a day won't keep the doctor away in this case. Now, back to the studio...

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Joke

Funny, I am allergic to Apple products as well.. Not that I get a rash - but my blood pressure goes through the roof when I am forced to use them!

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Funny, I too once had a bad reaction to being taken into an apple store once. First it got hard to breath, heart palpatations, and then I had an intense urge to leave. It was actually the start of a panic attack because there were too many people in there, but I can't help but think apple is partially to blame.

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Anonymous Coward

"Funny, I am allergic to Apple products as well.. Not that I get a rash - but my blood pressure goes through the roof when I am forced to use them!"

It's probably not the Apple product more likely the fact that you are hideously over weight and get out of breath just opening a can of pringles.

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I have so often found that when people start flinging personal insults, they usually draw them from their own personal insecurities.

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Anonymous Coward

"I have so often found that when people start flinging personal insults, they usually draw them from their own personal insecurities."

Is that the overweight, sun deprived geek way of saying "I know you are, but what am I". Go you!

Anyone whos blood pressure goes up using a device most grandparents can easily use MUST be overweight or at least have a bad cholesterol problem, so my point still stands.

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Anonymous Coward

"It's probably not the Apple product more likely the fact that you are hideously over weight and get out of breath just opening a can of pringles."

That sounds a lot like the standard insult thrown by a apple addict when someone insults their lord and saviour.

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"Anyone whos blood pressure goes up using a device most grandparents can easily use MUST be overweight or at least have a bad cholesterol problem, so my point still stands."

Or perhaps they do different things on them. Does your grandma get asked to configure the perfectly reasonable things Apple or MS decided weren't needed?

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Applephilia

Much as I like many Apple products I don't have any.

It started out with a dislike for the way that iTunes not only 'has' to rummage through everything but that it also seems to phone home once every 15 minutes on the off-chance that there might be

another udate or advert available.

From there it was noticing that one one Apple device is bought then the rot sets in and it's not possible to live without more of the buggers.

(I'd still have them if they were given away - my pockets are not deep and I'm not that anal to refuse)

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Re: Applephilia

Applephelia... NOT

As someone who has followed computers with interest all his life, but could not justify their expense

either commercially or personally, it took till 1995 before I obtained my first. It was a used Zenith

laptop, 386 processor, 4MB ram, 84MB hard drive, DOS 3.x os with an added gui of which I can't

remember the name. Disappointingly, all I could do with it was write text notes to myself, and by

osmosis, learn a handful of the most basic DOS navigational commands. I wanted to try programming but

I had no use for it and hated it from the first stroke. DOA

But I kept on buying newer used machines and reading as much as I could and became convinced Apple

was the system for me (and everybody else too). In the mid-2000's I finally scraped the money

together for a used iBook and took the plunge. It sported ver. 10.2. I was thrilled by the quality of

the display and initially loved iTunes, but not for long. The filing systems baffled me, and in spite

of all the claims of intuitiveness, and internet Apple help sites, I was forced to buy a FOR DUMMIES

book. Things only got worse. I had many free programs on my Windows machines that allowed me to tweak

to my heart's content and delight, but forget that with Apple. It was either their way or overpay for multiple

crummy tweak programs that could do only one or two basic things. In frustration I finally coughed up

the money for the highly rated (and expensive) Windows emulation program. It turned out to be so slow

and unstable as to be unusable, (and don't forget, I was only using the most simple and basic of

programs. The Koolaid was wearing off fast and I started falling back on my old Windows machine,

finally only using the iBook to listen to my mp3's. Even that got to be too much and when, after

about a year, the screen failed and the battery wouldn't hold a charge for even five minutes, I

chucked it with relief.

I couldn't even give it away. I was ashamed to even try. I moved on to Win 98SE then XP, and haven't

looked back since.

Sorry for such a long post but I had to get this off my chest after being suckered over a decade ago

by Apple, Steve Jobs and his reality distortion field, and everybody else that drank the Koolaid and

passed in on. It was one of the biggest, and the most expensive mistakes of my impoverished life.

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Not entirely limited to Apple products I would guess. Any metal casing containing nickel would set off the allergy. Designing products with allergies in mind is something easily overlooked by those who have none.

I have worked with Mac Pros and MacBooks when I visited a university in Paris, and found them perfectly usable. After all, when you write your own code, all you need is a usable editor/compiler or IDE, oh and MatLab for rapid prototyping and testing if you do image and signal processing. Phone and tablet-wise I stick with Android (because I am/they are cheap). Seriously love my ASUS Transformer Pad, and would not readily swap it for anything else.

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Plastic cases

El Reg is always ready to bash brands that stick to plastics, time for some excuses, I'd say.

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Trollface

Re: Plastic cases

Agreed.

Time for tech-makers to stick to all natural products, like ivory, whale bone, and rhino horn.

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Joke

Re: Plastic cases

Agreed, people are never sensitive to all natural substances, like pollen

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Re: Plastic cases

I remember a trend about five to ten years back, where a lot of personal computing goods were being made with bamboo casings. I rather liked that trend, but I guess the bamboo didn't hold up to the constant handling, or the economy of forming metal/plastic is much better than the economy of forming wood/bamboo.

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Anonymous Coward

Another case of...

... holding it wrong.

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Anonymous Coward

I'm hoping people will get aggressively allergic..

..to Glassholes.

I know I am.

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Canada

Here in Canada, from 1968 (earlier with the nickel) until 2000, most of our coins were made of pure nickel. They're now made of steel, but they're still nickel plated. I'm surprised we don't have a big problem with this sort of thing.

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Re: Canada

Maybe it's because folks don't typically hold the coins against their bare skin for 4-6 hours per day.

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I remember having all sorts of problems with a domestic appliance I was responsible for, because the the li-ion cells used inside the battery pack are nickel plated! There is no excuse these days for not knowing that nickel can cause sesitivity.

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Obviously, the child was holding it wrong.

Seriously, though, does anyone not have their tablet encased in some sort of protection, particularly if they're handing it over to a child?

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Places that are bad for your skin

You complain about nickel being bad for people's skin? There are bigger problems out there. There are whole regions - even countries, that can get your body irritated.

For instance:

Russia gives me rashes

Greenwich makes me itch

Catarrh gives me...er, sorry mistake here

Please continue the list as my mind is a bit rusty this morning...

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