Dangers of Teflon

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Danger: Polytetraflouethylene (Teflon)!

This information summarises a longer article on the same subject at theaviary.com.

Teflon coated cooking utensils is highly dangerous to parrots and many have died in homes through over-heated teflon pans within seconds of inhaling the fumes.  Polytetraflouethylene (Teflon) emit undetected fumes that are safe for humans and most mammals but are far from safe for our avian friends due to their very delicate, complex respiratory system.  Plain stainless steel cooking utensils are the only safe replacement when keeping birds in the home.

 Also, please be aware that over-heated oil fumes will kill birds in seconds.

Sadly, birds have died when warming themselves on lights installed in an outdoor aviary. The bulbs had been coated with polytetraflouethylene.

Phillips standard red heating lamps have a coating of Teflon. In the US, the FDA requires that bulbs be given a Teflon coating as a shatter shield when used around food. Teflon may also be found on bulbs and utensils in the UK.

If you are planning to use a light to help warm a brooder or keep a sick bird warm, look it over carefully and read the box to see if Teflon has been used. If it does not have a box or does not say it has a special coating, check the bulb itself. The Teflon-coated ones have a bubbly or cloudy surface. They may use one of the other brand names for polytetraflouethylene so remember that just because it doesn't say Teflon, it doesn't mean that it is safe to use around birds.

Some products that use polytetraflouethylene:

  • Heat lamps
  • Portable heaters
  • Sole plates on irons
  • Ironing board covers
  • Burners on stove tops
  • Drip pans for burners
  • Broiler pans
  • Griddles
  • Many cooking utensils
  • Woks
  • Waffle makers & toasted sandwich makers
  • Electric skillets
  • Deep fryers, frying pans, crock pots
  • Hot air popcorn poppers
  • Coffee makers
  • Bread makers
  • Non-stick rolling pins
  • Lollipop moulds
  • Corkscrews
  • Non-stick stainless steel
  • Stockpots
  • Roasters
  • Non-stick gingerbread moulds
  • Pizza pans
  • Tortilla presses