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Old 03-05-2014, 04:23 AM
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Unhappy Again about non-stick cookware!?!?!

Hello again,
We rescued our lovely GCC Parry from Petsmart a month ago, and he is a most adorable creature ever. But I just found out that non-stick cookware is bad for birds. I'm in chock! I went to kitchen and checked our cookware, and almost all of it except one large steel pot has that black coating on it! One pan is Ecolution, and doesn't have PFOA in it. And our oven is pretty old and is a self-cleaning one - so it might have that stuff too. The problem is that we ABSOLUTELY cannot afford to buy any new cookware now - I just was in ER with ambulance this week before my Obamacare started, and will need to pay medical bills while I'm not able to work for a while… it's a pretty horrifying situation anyway.

But I love my bird and don't want to harm him.
My question is if I still have to use the cookware I have - how can I protect my bird from it? I have a powerful range-hood which I always use while cooking, and I can close the door to my birds room (it's on the same floor a hallway away) Is there anything else? We have a one-story house and I often hang out with Parry in the kitchen while drinking coffee or snacking (not when I cook) - is that dangerous too? How long can the fumes stay in the air? But I cannot leave him in his room in the cage alone for the whole day. He usually sits on my shoulder buried under my hair when I do stuff around the house, mostly in the kitchen and the living room attached to it.
I'm so glad I found this out before anything bad happened… But it still makes me sad that he is not completely safe in our house. I wish I could do to the store and spend $200 on new cookware and spend another $1000 on a new oven.
I read that even hair-driers and printers can have that stuff - how can I find out if our ones have it or not? Our small laser printer is in the same room with his cage, but we do very little printing.

Thanks for any advice!
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:01 AM
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Re: Again about non-stick cookware!?!?!

Sorry to here you have so much non stick cookware

First off, try your best NOT to use it. use the BBQ, or glass dishes you can bake with. If you must use the non stick open all your windows, and have the overhead vent on. Where is your conure located compared to the kitchen? at my house we have 3 nonstick pans for cooking eggs(and about 8 normal pans of various sizes for cooking eggs too LOL). Fairly large 2 story house, and Rosie and Kenji are upstairs in my bedroom that sits over the front porch on the opposite side of the house from the kitchen. If someone cooks a egg with the nonstick cookware I'm not concerned, but if the oven is on the self cleaning cycle I freak out and open all the windows in the house and turn on all the fans. Luckily the self cleaning is only used maybe twice a year, we take care to clean up messes when they happen.

Non stick cookware is very scary, it can kill a parrot in less than 15 minutes and affects smaller birds faster. Remember that you don't need to buy a whole set of safe cookware all at once, find a brand you like and buy them one at a time when you have a bit of extra cash.

Look up on Google or amazon your printer model number to see if it is dangerous or not. And remember, open windows(with screens!) are a birds lungs best friend when weather permits.

Hope you alright from going to the hospital!
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:04 AM
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Re: Again about non-stick cookware!?!?!

Don't stress to much about non stick stuff,
I use all non stick pans BUT when I'm cooking the rang hood is on and the bird is in his room which is next door and I have not had any dramas
As long as you don't leave the pan to get that got that it starts smoke inn you will be fine :-)
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:49 AM
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Re: Again about non-stick cookware!?!?!

Hair dryers, yep most are not great which is why I never blow dry my birds and they get bathes almost daily. I have very short hair so I use mine for a few seconds to just knock it back to damp then let it air dry so it never gets very hot. Also its best to use it on the warm or cool setting rather than hot.

I have a brand new stove but I will never use the self clean, all it really does is bake the gunk off at extremely high heat, clean up any spills you can as soon as the oven cools and you will be fine. Because I am super senistive to most cleaners I use vinegar, baking soda, lemons and just plain soap to clean most things in my home.

Non-stick cookware is a different story, it's bad (lethal) for birds and not great for people either. Check all of your cookware if there are any scratches at all it's not really even safe for you to use. It's been said that it has to be heated to extreme temps to emit the odorless sightless fumes that can kill but I simply do not believe that even at lower temps some of that is not released. I do understand not being able to replace it all but maybe find one or two sizes that you use the most and replace them slowly. You could even check consignment shops or goodwill type stores to see if the have any. The older glass Pyrex pans are great and can most times be picked up cheap because most people without birds want the convenience of non-stick.
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:40 AM
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Re: Again about non-stick cookware!?!?!

If you absolutely cannot afford to replace the cookware, close the door to the birds room, cook with the hood on, and if possible, open a window or door in the kitchen. Leave the hood on/door/windows open for a for a few minutes after so all the fumes dissipate before letting the birds out again. You could use that "alone time" to encourage your bird to play independently, i.e. give him a new toy, some foraging stuff ext... and let him have at it while your cooking. However, in the long term, you are going to have to replace the nonstick with stainless. Stores like Ross, TJMaxx ext... always have nice stainless cookware for pretty cheap, and even thrift stores get some nice cookware on occasion. Start by replacing the items you use most, THEN buy the things that aren't used so often.

And don't freak out too much about your printer and things like that. Non-stick coatings aren't inherently dangerous to birds when they're at room temperature. They become dangerous when heated to high temperatures (i.e., for cooking, baking, self clean ovens ext..) because the heat makes the coating release colorless, odorless fumes which can kill small animals like birds very quickly, and while a person or larger animal (like a dog) might not drop dead, it's really not good for you to be inhaling it either. Plus, that stuff chips off in your food and has been linked to all kinds of health problems. And, seeing as you have to replace non-stick every few years due to chipping, a good set of stainless will actually save you money over a lifetime because it will never need replacement.
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:10 AM
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Re: Again about non-stick cookware!?!?!

Whoa, what? Teflon coated non-stick cookware is lethal for birds?! Wow sorry first time I see this and kind of worried... my first fid ever is coming in 2 weeks (VERY excited) and we use nothing but non-stick cookware (I do a LOT of cooking), I detest stainless steel pots. What about the food cooked in non-stick pots??

Dan
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:46 AM
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Re: Again about non-stick cookware!?!?!

Non-Stick Cookware
When non-stick pans were first introduced into American households in the 1960s, they were thought to be a godsend. Gone were the days of soaking pans for hours and scouring pots with steel wool. In the forty years since then, however, we’ve learned that the ease of cleaning comes at a steep price: the coating that makes Teflon pans non-stick is polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE for short. When PTFE heats up, it releases toxic gasses that have been linked to cancer, organ failure, reproductive damage, and other harmful health effects.
The problems with PTFE-coated pans seem to occur at high temperatures, so if you must use Teflon, cook foods on medium heat or less. Avoiding non-stick pans altogether is the safest option. If you’re able to do so, try anodized aluminum, stainless steel, or cast iron pans with a little cooking oil. SustainLane reviewers like LeCreuset cast iron pans and more cost-effective ones like Lodge Logic. Using a lower setting on the stove will reduce the chances that your food will burn, which is how it usually gets stuck to pans the first place. If you’re worried about the extra calories cooking oil adds, try baking or steaming your food.
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:35 AM
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Re: Again about non-stick cookware!?!?!

There options that are the best is stainless steel, cast iron and the new ceramic non stick. Please do not use Non stick cookware as it lethal. You may get lucky for a while but there is too many sad stories out there.

I just bought a ceramic pan at Walmart for $7.00 so if you shop around it doesn't have to cost much. Also second hand stores have a ton of stainless steel and cast iron for very low prices.

Please note Teflon isn't very good for us humans either, but will kill our birds.I'd rather not eat myself than take the risk.
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:42 AM
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Re: Again about non-stick cookware!?!?!

I agree with labell. I've always used stainless, and never have any issues with food sticking to them. I use minimum oil too, just cook on med/low heat and allow for a little extra time to cook. Another big thing is to let the oil or butter heat to the point it's "popping" before you put things like egg in, and that will help it not stick. I also use my crockpot quite a bit when cooking things that "like to burn", such as rice and lentils. Just like anything else, stainless has a learning curve if you've been using nothing but non-stick, but it's really not bad once you're used to the proper cooking techniques using it.
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Old 03-05-2014, 02:55 PM
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Re: Again about non-stick cookware!?!?!

Thank you so much for your advice!!
I couldn't sleep until morning - I was so worried!
It's a relief to know that steel/ceramic pans are not that expensive - of course I can afford to buy something up to $20-30. And we need to replace some pans anyway. I miss the old cast iron pans form my childhood! I'm a lazy cook, so I never really spend more than 1 hour cooking and yes, we usually don't fry - I mostly use pans just to heat up the leftovers. I recently got the Ecolution pan (has anybody heard of this brand?) on clearance, and they claim their stuff doesn't have any harmful chemicals in it. With my back injury I cannot really stand that long so now I'm cooking even less.
What about the oven if I bake in it at 350-400F? I have a few ceramic oven dishes, so they should be fine - but what about oven itself? It's still winter here in Chicago area, so I cannot open the doors or windows because I have tons of houseplants and cannot freeze them.
Phew, I'm so happy I found out about the cookware before it was too late. I read tons of information about conures, and it's so strange that I never saw anything before.
Thank you again for your help!!
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