Ask Lafeber


May 5, 2021

Toxic fumes

Is there a list of commonly used toxins that people use, that are dangerous to parrots( probably other pets too, and it must hurt humans to some degree).


Hi Judy,

We do not maintain a list, but there are a lot available if you do a Google search. Pretty much anything with a strong scent or fumes is either toxic or an irritant to birds. They have a complicated respiratory system, so some things that may kill a bird will not affect another pet or human. However, canaries were long used in mines as the first indicator of toxic air. Most toxic fumes kill a bird within seconds. Other airborne irritants can take hours before the bird dies from what appears to be a sudden death.

Birds are susceptible to any type of smoke, many fragrances, and fumes or odors from household products. Sadly because of Covid, some bird owners have accidentally killed their pet birds by using Lysol or similar disinfectants near their birds. One of the leading causes of pet bird deaths is from non-stick cookware. Non-stick coatings can be on many other household items that you wouldn’t think of like irons and ironing boards and some heat lamps. The plug in type air fresheners have also been linked to pet bird deaths. Any type of room spray is likely to be toxic. Scented candles are another danger. Even some products used on dogs or cats can be toxic to a bird. If you have just used any new appliances or have new carpet, those are other sources of airborne toxins. Carbon monoxide can come from many common household appliances including stoves, water heaters, dryers, furnaces, fireplace, gas appliances, grills, generators and more. Birds can die from airborne toxins that do not affect us, but they can also die from toxins that are in low enough levels to not affect a human right away.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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