OTHER AIRBORNE HAZARDS
Margaret T. Wright
Second hand smoke can be lethal, and the nicotine passed from your hands and lips can enter your bird's system through its feet. If you smoke, QUIT! If you can't quit, always smoke in a room away from your birds and wash your hands and lips before making physical contact. Basically, any kind of household product that has some kind of fragrance can be lethal to your bird. On top of that, scented candles and products, such as Glade Plug-ins, that contain essential oils can harm your bird's respiratory and nervous systems within minutes. Self-cleaning ovens can also be harmful. Avoid room odorizers and air fresheners. It has been discovered that "long burning candles" that have metal core wicks also may be harmful. A scientific source states they raise the level of lead in the air above EPA standards and can cause almost instantaneous death in birds. If you see a metal piece on the bottom of the candle, it probably does contain a metal core wick.
If you notice your bird gasping or wobbling from fumes, immediately put it near an open window and call your veterinarian. Most birds die almost immediately from severe pulmonary congestion, but you might be lucky enough to save yours. The best option is to avoid using any products that contain substances harmful to birds. Instead of non-stick pots, use stainless steel or non-stick Revere ware. Look for household cleaning agents and other products that do not emit strong fumes. Then make sure your birds are in rooms far away when using the products.
DO NOT trust ANY non-stick products at all, as the fumes can travel through your house and harm your birds. The Rule of Thumb is that SAFETY ALWAYS COMES FIRST. Your birds will love you for it.
Maggie Wright is a marketing consultant and the creator/publisher of the African Grey magazine,
The Grey Play Round Table®.