I think this thread needs to be done so new members, and even current members are aware of the hazards in your very own household.
It is a good idea to write up the hazards and have them somewhere where you can see them, so you have a reminder - not only for you, but other people in the household too.
So, below is a list of the household dangers, from here: http://www.cockatielcottage.net/hazards.html
Cockatiels should never be left alone in a room when out of the cage. They go about their business merrily, swiftly and very quietly. In a split second, a pet bird can become the victim of a tragic and oven preventable accident. Losing a bird to a household accident is a devastating experience for people who love their birds. As much as we try to keep our homes safe and bird proof, cockatiels and other parrots can get themselves into a dangerous situation if they are not monitored constantly when they of their cages. Bird proofing the home means that we have to be aware of potentially dangerous situations that can harm our birds well in advance before an accident happens. Think of your bird as a toddler with wings, and exercise the same caution and judgment when your bird is out of the cage. The list of household hazards on this page is extensive and by being aware of these situations, you may be able to prevent an accident and save the life of your bird.
: According to the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Poison Control Centers, fumes from overheated Teflon® and other non-stick products coated with PTFE (Polytetraflouethylene ) are lethal to birds. Toxicity occurs when pots are left on a hot stove and they become overheated. It was originally thought that cookware had to reach a temperature of 500° Fahrenheit or 280° Celsius before poisoning occurred. Recently, temperatures as low as 285° F have been found to be fatal to birds. Fumes start being emitted as soon as the product starts heating, resulting in the release of toxic particles into the air that cause severe and irreversable damage to a bird's lungs when inhaled. Birds are unable to clear toxic particles by exhaling or coughing and are therefore more susceptible to this type poisoning. Toxic fumes travel through an entire house quickly. Even if birds are in another room they can still die. Death can occur within a few seconds or it can take up to 24 hours after exposure because the fumes can linger in curtains, upholstery and other materials. Death from overheated non-stick cookware fumes is very painful and necropsy of birds that have died after exposure to these fumes show lesions and hemorrhaging of the lungs.
Teflon® and all brands of non-stick cookware as well as many appliances are coated with a fluoropolymer resin. Different companies have different brand names for the same type of resin. PTFE coating can be found on pots and pans, skillets, griddles, cookie sheets, cake pans, and other bakeware, stove drip pans and broilers, self-cleaning ovens, electric fry pans, woks, crock pots, deep fryers, popcorn makers, bread machines, indoor grills, and other products such as irons, ironing board pads, curling irons, blow dryers, space heaters and now some types of heat lamps and light bulbs. Always read the accompanying literature for new cookware, appliances, light bulbs to see if it says "NON STICK" or "PTFE". If it does then it's coated with a fluoropolymer type substance. If you are not sure, call the company and ask. DON'T rely on the say so of the store clerk. Don't take any chances with non-stick cookware or products, thinking it's fine to use as long as it doesn't overheat. Get rid of it. Use stainless steel, aluminum, Pyrex®, enamel or cast iron cookware instead. For more information on Teflon® and Birds, Click Here.
Dupont has recently been ordered by the courts (2005) to release documentation that has been kept hidden from the public for 20 years. Dupont has known for 20 years that fumes from Teflon® can be hazardous to humans and birds.
Other Kitchen Fumes
: Fumes from oven cooking bag, oven liners, self cleaning ovens, silicone bakeware, leaking gas, burning plastic handles on pots, burning food, overheated cooking oil, fats, margarine, butter, from burning food on aerosol spray on "Non-Stick" products can be lethal to birds.
Pine Scented Cleaners
: These types of disinfecting agents are toxic. Do not use them to clean cages, food and water dishes and do not use them around your bird. Always read labels on cleaning products to see if there are any safety warnings regarding birds.
: Fumes from mothballs, pesticides, hairsprays, perfumes, nailpolish remover, bleach, ammonia, paint, varnish, paint remover, permanent markers, nicotine, air freshener (sprays & hanging ones in cars/homes and plugins), carpet fresheners, scented candles, incense or any other product with fumes you can smell, can make your bird sick or cause death. Don't use them around your bird. Birds can absorb nicotine on your hands through their skin. Contact with nicotine will make your bird itchy.
: Are toxic. Don't ever use them around your bird.
: New carpet backing, paneling, and particleboard contain formaldehyde, and fumes are LETHAL. Paint, varnish and wallpaper paste all contain toxic fumes. Arrange for someone else to keep your bird until you can no longer smell the fumes.
Glade® Scented Candles
: or any scented candles contain lethal
amounts of carbon monoxide, soot and essential oils
. Products contain warning labels about using around pets. In the USA call Johnson and Johnson Customer Service at 1-800-494-4855. From Canada call 1-877-506-7352 for details.
Molds and Fungi
: Improperly stored seeds and grains as well as other foods may be contaminated with fungi and molds. High humidity, warm temperatures and poor ventilation favor their growth. Seeds, grains, fruit, meat, cheese, bread and other foodstuffs can become toxic if contaminated with molds. Mycotoxins are toxic compounds produced by many species of mold-causing fungi. Under the right conditions, fungi will multiply rapidly, producing high levels of mycotoxins. "Moderate levels of this compound, if ingested, will cause lesions on a bird's organs and may have carcinogenic effects (cancer causing). High levels of mycotoxins are lethal and can cause mortality within 2-3 days." (Source: Avian Medicine, Principles and Applications, Ritchie, Harrison & Harrison, page 27) Birds and other pets are especially susceptible to being poisoned by mycotoxins because of poor quality control and improper storage of food. Although some molds are visible, like the fuzz on old bread and strawberries, mycotoxins if present, can not be detected by sight, taste or smell and they can not be destroyed by cooking or freezing. Never feed your bird mushy, discolored, bruised fruits or vegetables or a food that has mold growing on it. "When in doubt, throw it out." Store seeds in an airtight container, in a cool dry spot.
Peanuts and Peanut Products
: Fresh peanuts, brazil nuts and other nuts in shells, bulk peanut butter, or peanut butter from health food store can contain a fatal toxin called Aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is, produced by a fungus that grows under the shell of nuts. Avoid feeding fresh nuts in shells to your birds and only use a high quality commercial peanut butter for your birds. Commercial brands of peanut butter are monitored for aflatoxin.
Heavy Metal Poisoning and Sources of Lead and Zinc
: Metal hardware, wires, coat hangers, pennies, twist ties for plastic bags, stems on artificial flowers, Christmas tree ornament hooks, stained glass items, some wire toys, cages with loose solder and chipped paint, fishing weights, drapery weights, costume jewelry, zipper teeth and paint in older homes, glue on cardboard rolls from paper towels and bath tissue, duct tape, metal ends of light bulbs, flooring, lead water pipes in your home, can all contain zinc or lead. Galvanized metals are also toxic because a coating is applied over a lead or zinc base item. Ingesting heavy metals or rust is LETHAL and will cause death or permanent neurological damage if not treated immediately. If you have lead or galvanized metal water pipes in your home or your source of drinking water comes from an underground well, avoid giving your bird tap water to drink and bath in. The water could contain lead or zinc. Give your bird bottled water instead. Symptoms of heavy metal poisoning include loss of balance, muscle weakness, inability to fly, red droppings, vomiting and respiratory distress. Do not let you bird chew on any type of metal or product that contains a glue-like adhesive.