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Teflon fumes are deadly to birds!



Teflon is DuPont's trademarked name for Tetrafluoroethylene which is found most commonly in non-stick cookware. Polytetraflouethylene (PTFE) is not only found in the fumes of Teflon products, but other brands of product as well.


Teflon is a material used to coat cooking utensils and in industrial applications where sticking is to be avoided. Teflon is now also being used in many household appliances.


PTFE is commonly found in.

• Non-stick Cookware. (This includes non-stick coatings known as Teflon, Silverstone, T-Fal, Supra, Resistal, etc.)


• Irons with Non-stick Sole Plates

• Portable Heaters

• Stir Fryers/Woks

• Pizza Pans

• Non-stick Stainless Steel

• Self-Cleaning Ovens

• Heat Lamps and Bulbs

• Bread makers

• Curling Irons

• Hair Dryers

• Cookie Sheets

• Griddle Pans and Skillets

• Stovetop Burners

• Wafflers

• Deep Fryers

• Crock Pots

• Roasting Pans

• Cake Pans and Moulds

• Coffee Makers



Teflon fumes arise when cooking with Teflon-coated pots and pans at high temperatures or when pre-heating an empty pan for more than 3 minutes. While not harmful to other pets, these fumes are lethal to birds. Under normal cooking conditions, PTFE-coated cookware is stable and safe.



Like carbon monoxide, PTFE is odourless and invisible. It travels through the air unnoticed. In humans PTFE causes flu-like symptoms; in birds PTFE kills.We all cook at normal temperatures but please be aware a day may come when you may accidentally leave a pan on a hot stove, You may be distracted , if a pan is being pre heated on an oven/cooker and forgotten, or if water boils out of a pot, breakdown of the PTFE can occur. In other words, PTFE cookware has to be "abused" to emit toxic fumes, but this is not as rare as it might seem; many people fall asleep after they put pots or pans on the stove to heat.


Birds which are kept near to the kitchen will usually die very shortly after breathing the fumes. Even birds kept in another room are at great risk. They will have severe breathing difficulties & death will usually follow.


First Aid for Teflon poisoning.

1. Remove the affected bird immediately from the home and supply lots of fresh air. Unfortunately, other than this, no first aid exists.

2. Call your avian veterinarian immediately.



I have posted this article in the bird food room as Teflon is found in cookware & thought it was appropriate.

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Ok Im going to tell you a couple true stories.

I had a green quaker named Draco and a blue Crown conure named Robin and 9 budgies some years ago before the birds I have now.

I thought I was safe with my t-fal my mother gave me for Christmas and I would never let my t-fal burn.

One day my husband called with the 'come fast I need you" call and I did, then I went on to work.

I come home nine hours later to a house full of dead birds.

I had left a boiler on the stove with water in it to make tea before I went to work and forgot about it.

I know what your thinking "that wont ever happen to me" That is the same thing I thought for five years and It didn't happen to me for five long years and then poof all my birds were gone.

I'll tell you one more story.

One of the bird club members was breeding budgies and cockatiel in her home. She had around 76 birds in the house.

One day she got a call that her mother was having a heart attack and she took off to the ER. Three hours later she arrives home to a house full of dead birds. Even the ones upstairs were dead.


You are right sprays may not kill right away the way over heating can but it well over time by shorting your birds life span.

Candles won't kill right away either.

Even second hand smoke won't kill your bird right away.

I live in my house without the use of any of these products and I am still comfortable and my birds are safe.

Ok off my soap box.

I post this in loving memory of the birds I killed. And if reading this saves just one bird it was worth the tears I shed while I post this.

Now you have the facts you can make an informed decision on weather the risk is worth it for you or not.

Thank you for reading this.<br><br>Post edited by: Tari, at: 2007/09/15 16:33

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Joe you are entitled to your own opinion.


The article i have written is true, I have sat here for a few hours researching & getting my facts correct before i posted this topic as i do with all the informative articles i write & post.


I didnt suggest that you or any members will be killing your birds using Teflon coated pans as you have implied Joe, I was warning members of the potential dangers of misuse of products containing Teflon.


As i said ""Under normal cooking conditions, PTFE-coated cookware is stable and safe ""



If you want to use a vanilla scent in your bathroom that's down to you, personally i choose not to use any kind of sprays or air fresheners in my house that can potentially harm my greys.Thats my personal choice.<br><br>Post edited by: lovemyGreys, at: 2007/09/15 16:49

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I would like to thank Tari for posting her own personal story.I know it was upsetting for her, but hopefully some good will come from this, even if it is to warn people of the potential dangers of Teflon.


This topic was written to warn of the potential dangers of the misuse of Teflon, & with Tari's own personal story it shows that, yes this can & does happen.<br><br>Post edited by: lovemyGreys, at: 2007/09/15 16:54

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Thank you both for your posts. This is one of the many reasons I wanted to start my research so far ahead of my actually getting a grey. My favorite pot at home is a teflon coated one and I use it constantly... and have before left it on the stove longer than I meant waiting for the water to boil. If I hadn't read this and someday did the same thing again I'm sure I would have been devistated. Sorry for your losses tari :( but thank you for sharing.

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Guest briansmum

i got rid of all my non stick pans before i got brian and paid top dollar for stainless steel, i don't use aerosols (except for in my bedroom, upstairs and away from brian with the door shut) and the pizza and baking trays i use are really cheap ones that don't cost enough to be non stick :P


i have heard loads of sad stories regarding birds and teflon. but i have also heard it is an old fashioned substance and they are useing it less and less, with the exception of pans. there are plenty of alternatives and it is always better to be safe than sorry.


i was wondering if there is anyway to know if something is teflon coated. i have an electric fireplace in my living room. i haven't used it yet, the house is rented and it was here when i moved in. with winder coming on i would like to know before i turn it on (i know this isn't exactly on topic but i thought i would put the question out there on the subject of teflon, feel free to answer in a new topic :))

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I too have heard of the dangers involved with teflon cookware. My favorite pot is teflon, and I usually use it when cooking spagetti sauce or larger meals. I don't cook on high, but rather in the medium range. Also EVERYTIME the stovetop, oven, deep fryer, or Foreman grill is on, the vent hood is on, and it stays on for 30 minutes or so after I turn it off.


The reason I haven't changed my pots and pans yet is the alternatives are rather expensive, although we are looking to get a set of waterless cookware to replace most of our stuff (anyone know any good brands?). The foreman grill is easy to use/clean so I'll just make sure to be careful while using it.

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So I have been saying for a while that I want to change out my pots and pans, this post finally pushed me into gear! Yesterday I went to Macy's to check out the selection and of all the brands there and I liked the Cuisinart ones the best! The all clad had very uncomfortable handles to me.


So I came home, went on amazon and found a 17 piece Cuisinart set for $199, with free shipping! The 12 piece set at our Macy's was that price. I just ordered it yesterday, and ironically it shipped from Macy's!


One thing I also noticed at the store was that all the copper bottomed pots and pans had warning stickers on them. It said "careful about overheating due to fumes". So I would guess copper is out too. If they are saying it is harmful to people, it surely can't be good for birds!


If anyone out there is in the market, I would go for pots and pans that have an aluminum center core. It gives you the most even cooking. So there is my experience! Thanks LMG for getting my butt in gear!!

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If "scary" people is what it takes to get them to throw that teflon out. I'm all for it.

That stuff is bad. And in time you never miss having teflon. I know I don't.

The day all my birds died I threw it all out. We ate out for two weeks before I got my new SS stuff.

I got some cheep off brand and have been slowely replacing with good stuff one pan/pot at a time. lol

I know it cost a little more that way but thats ok my husband notices it less in the wallet this way.

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I have known all along the dangers of teflon... I just needed to take the plunge. The guilt was killing me! It is going to be interesting to learn to cook with stainless... but I am up to the challenge! I agree with you Tari, I don't think I am going to miss the non-stick one bit! We also realized that our burner trays (grease catchers) on the stove are teflon coated... those went right away! That was a cheap $10 fix.


My non-stick set is very nice, I was actually thinking about selling it on craigslist or donating it to a charity or non profit. Maybe someone without a bird will enjoy it!

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Guest briansmum

i LOVE my stainless steel pans, i paid £60 for a set of 5 including a frying pan which is roughly $120. not only do i know that they are 100% safe for brian i think they're better to cook with, easy to wash and make you feel like a proper chef :P . plus they will last for ever. if you don't have some you should get some you won't be dissapointed.

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I want waterless cookware.... If you've ever seen it used, you'd like it. The cookware I almost bought was non-stick, waterless, looked good, stacked, and you could bake on the stovetop... too bad it costs $2000


Look into it, you won't be disappointed (there are much cheaper options out there)<br><br>Post edited by: Number6, at: 2007/09/18 09:53

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Our new stainless pots/pans came! Before Makena, we had teflon pots/pans. Everytime we (Kristin) would cook, we would open all the windows, turn on the ceiling fans, and make sure he was in a well ventilated area. Well now we don't have to worry as much of any unseen fumes hurting our little baby. Luckily it was about time to replace them anyways.. haha. It may take a little time to get used to cooking in stainless, but it's worth it!

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