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Old 06-11-2019, 04:06 PM
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Question about non-stick cookware

I know the teflon is toxic at some point when cooking, my question is, how far away from the birds would it need to be used to keep them safe? Different ends of the house enough, or would different building be the needed step. I've been curious about this for a while now.
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:26 PM
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Re: Question about non-stick cookware

Using Teflon anywhere that the fumes could reach the birds is risky, there is no set distance identified. Some people say they use them in the house and it hasn’t affected their birds, and for others the first time is fatal. It’s not a risk that I take and I just replaced the items in my house with Teflon. You would be looking for items that are both PFOA and PFTE free to be safe.
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:42 PM
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Re: Question about non-stick cookware

different building- there are numerous documented cases of birds being killed on separate floors through shut doors.
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Old 06-11-2019, 05:05 PM
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Re: Question about non-stick cookware

As noodles has stated, there are people who have had their birds a floor away, in closed rooms.
There are plenty of bird safe options out there. Some people swear by cast iron or stainless steel but PTFE PFOA free ceramic is what I use with PTFE PFOA free aluminum baking trays/molds.
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Old 06-11-2019, 05:56 PM
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Re: Question about non-stick cookware

The problem is, lots of people say or think, "so and so had a bird and they used X and the bird was fine." Note: many of the people who say this speak about birds in past-tense because the birds in question eventually die "suddenly" of "unknown causes" (it's like they never connect the dots).
My mom likes to talk about how they supposedly used Teflon around my uncle's old African Grey when he visited on holidays (because she gets irritated with my no Teflon rule when I visit with the bird)- even though that bird had plenty of health issues, despite the fact that my uncle didn't use Teflon at home...Honestly, they lucked out (and most of their pots at the time were not teflon anyway)
Teflon is super dangerous and it is not worth the risk. To some extent, each bird is different (but it is absolutely toxic to all of them).
Variables that can impact a birds reaction: bird size DOES matter, as does current health, as does the state of the pan, as does the temperature, as does the acidity of the food, as does the time heated, as does the fat content of the food, as does the ventilation in the house...but no matter what, if you cook with it, there will likely be some off-gassing.
There are just too many variables that it is impossible to use Teflon safely and for many birds, use of a brand-new pan (no burnt food required) results in death...It takes VERY little to kill a bird and there is no cure (as it coats the lungs).
There was recently a user on this forum whose husband cooked an egg in the same pan that he had used many times before and seemingly out of the blue, it killed all of her birds (all in separate rooms with doors shut). Teflon toxicosis was the vet's verdict...so, that pan had appeared to be "safe" based on previous uses, but there is too much that we can't control----the egg wasn't burned, and the pan wasn't visibly scratched, yet in 5 minutes, it took them all out...The off-gassing can happen as low as 300 F and documented bird deaths start far lower than the temperatures quoted on DuPont's website, which makes it even less trustworthy.
Bird have also died from space-heaters, heat lamps coated in Teflon etc etc, so it isn't just your kitchen you need to consider.

That is the risk you take. Again, it is important to understand that just because a bird survives the use of a Teflon pan one or more times, does not mean that you will always be so lucky. If it contains Teflon/PFOA/PTFE, it is like playing Russian roulette with your bird's life with every use.

If you are intimidated by the cost of getting new cookware, get Revere-ware at thrift stores. It is high-quality stainless and it won't break your bank.

Last edited by noodles123; 06-11-2019 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:30 PM
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Re: Question about non-stick cookware

Teflon fumes are odorless and generally have no effect on larger mammals like dogs, cats and humans. They can quickly and silently permeate an entire home and no one would know until the bird is dying/dead. Teflon is NOT safe to use in a home with birds no matter how far away they are. Get new pans.

I personally like/use triply stainless. No coatings to chip off, though there are some newer ceramics that are bird safe, but they will chip, scratch and generally loose their effectiveness over time and use. If you buy quality stainless multiply pans, you will get a lifetime of use out of them. I got mine at Sur La Table years ago on clearance. They now sell a newer design but you can often find sales there. I also have 360 bakeware and all clad bakeware. Aluminum, stainless, glass or stoneware bakeware is the more economical bird safe route as triply bakeware is hard to find and expensive if you don’t bake very often (but super worth it if you love baking like I do!). My pans and bakeware have proven virtually indestructible, it was a big upfront cost, but I have never regretted investing in quality for something we use constantly day in day out. There’s a learning curve to stainless for sure, but I never have sticking issues with mine (the bakeware is so good, I don’t even have to grease it). On the rare occasion I’m not paying attention and something sticks/burns on, they’re very easy to clean by simply soaking overnight and scraping with a pan scraper. I’ve only had to use more drastic measures once for severely burnt on (like 1/4” thick coating) oatmeal and even then, pan came back to brand new inside using soaking, barkeepers friend and some elbow grease.
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:49 PM
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Re: Question about non-stick cookware

Quote: Originally Posted by Kiwibird View Post
Teflon fumes are odorless and generally have no effect on larger mammals like dogs, cats and humans. They can quickly and silently permeate an entire home and no one would know until the bird is dying/dead. Teflon is NOT safe to use in a home with birds no matter how far away they are. Get new pans.

I personally like/use triply stainless. No coatings to chip off, though there are some newer ceramics that are bird safe, but they will chip, scratch and generally loose their effectiveness over time and use. If you buy quality stainless multiply pans, you will get a lifetime of use out of them. I got mine at Sur La Table years ago on clearance. They now sell a newer design but you can often find sales there. I also have 360 bakeware and all clad bakeware. Aluminum, stainless, glass or stoneware bakeware is the more economical bird safe route as triply bakeware is hard to find and expensive if you don’t bake very often (but super worth it if you love baking like I do!). My pans and bakeware have proven virtually indestructible, it was a big upfront cost, but I have never regretted investing in quality for something we use constantly day in day out. There’s a learning curve to stainless for sure, but I never have sticking issues with mine (the bakeware is so good, I don’t even have to grease it). On the rare occasion I’m not paying attention and something sticks/burns on, they’re very easy to clean by simply soaking overnight and scraping with a pan scraper. I’ve only had to use more drastic measures once for severely burnt on (like 1/4” thick coating) oatmeal and even then, pan came back to brand new inside using soaking, barkeepers friend and some elbow grease.
Agreed and what I use pretty much and what I recommend to others.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:22 PM
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Re: Question about non-stick cookware

Teflon (aka PTFE) and other non stick coatings pervade a lot of modern appliances and products. besides cook ware, it is on the inside of microwave popcorn bags, bottom of irons, on heating elements of hair dryers and forced ait heaters. Not only used for its non stick properties, it is also used as a corrosin preventer.

Be sure - none of these products and others affected have any business in a home with birds. Be sure -having a companion parrot die from something stupid and preventable is aboutt the worst feeling one could have.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:25 PM
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Re: Question about non-stick cookware

These are the answers I absolutely was looking for, all my non-stainless will be going to my mother, three counties away! I guess the next question is, how long can the offgassing from it stay present in the home? If you cooked two days before a new bird would it still be potentially dangerous,and if so, how would one rid a home of the danger in a hurry? You guys are awesome!
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:51 PM
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Re: Question about non-stick cookware

Three counties away sounds like the perfect distance for anything with non-stick coatings . I don’t believe that the fumes hang out very long - but I’d give the house a bit of an airing to be sure. Just a side note - some toaster ovens, space heaters and hair dryers also have teflon and get heated up.....just do a check of anything in your house that gets “hot”. I replaced my toaster oven, got rid of my griddle, checked the toaster and chucked my hair dryer.
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