Buying New Appliances?

Buying New Appliances?

 July 29th, 2010
Posted By:

Rose Breasted Cockatoo

Consumers have fought a won a small battle with the manufacturers of the products we buy.  We have demanded that products be safe for the environment and safe for us in our homes.  In today’s market, there are a variety of products labeled as “green”. But what does “green” mean exactly? The color green suggests a healthy environment.  A “green” product claims to be ecologically responsible. Green is also the color of money, which is exactly what retailers make using this term.

Regardless, it’s a step forward.  It is now possible to contact a manufacturer about ingredients and processes used to make their products and get an actual answer instead of dead air, followed by “I don’t know”. They understand, and are willing to address our concerns. However, don’t expect anytime soon to see big warning signs telling us that “this product may be hazardous to your future health and might kill your parrots”.  We have to be smart enough to educate ourselves.

Who would think to wonder if something as seemingly harmless as a hairdryer might pollute the air with toxins?  Or the toaster oven?  The new stove?  I know.  It makes you begin to wonder if anything you own is actually safe.
The one thing these products have in common is that they produce heat. Appliances that get hot are sometimes coated with a non-stick teflon surface. Heated teflon surfaces throw dangerous chemical gases into the air called PTFEs (polytetrafluoroethylene). These odorless gases can kill a bird in minutes.  It’s not just cookware coated with this surface that are the enemy.

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When buying new appliances, the internal surfaces need to be a serious consideration to parrot owners.  Be sure you contact the manufacturer before you purchase to ask questions and state concerns.  Be certain to ask if there are any non-stick coated surfaces, and will this outgas PTFEs?
Regardless of the answer you receive, take certain safeguards anyways. After you install your new stove, open your windows and doors and take any living things away from the house: your family, your birds and your other pets (feel free to leave the ants behind). Turn all burners on the new stove to high, and turn the oven on to the highest temperature (with the door shut) and leave them running for at least 30 minutes. This will burn off any residues on the burners and inside surfaces from cleaning chemicals or other substances coating them.  Be sure the air is clean before you bring the birds back in.  Because of their dynamic respiratory system, a bird will fall victim to toxic air far quicker that a mammal.
****In case you don’t know this, you should never use the self-cleaning feature on your oven for these same reasons. Self cleaning oven produce such high temperatures that outgasing is a serious concern.

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7 Comments on “Buying New Appliances?”

Holise Cleveland  07/30/2010 12:02 pm

If I may add, place a couple of layers of foil at the bottom of your oven for easy cleaning.

Amanda  07/30/2010 1:10 pm

I have been wondering about that. Last fall we got a new stove and I didn’t really know if it could be harmful but I guessed that it was. So for the first week every time we used the stove we put the birds out in the car until long after the stove was off. I am now glad we did!

10k training  07/31/2010 4:43 am

Hey there,

I really can’t imagine that the knowledge of a parrot could go this far. Is it really so easy to train your parrot and give some details on it?. I am wondering if I could have one and do all of this training explanations you have post in your blog.


Karina Risewick  08/01/2010 8:37 pm

My partner and I enjoyed reading this article, I was just wanting to know do you ever trade featured articles or blog posts? I’m constantly trying to find someone to make trades with and merely thought I might ask.

Xain  08/01/2010 10:51 pm

hi i want to ask a question here i asked this question before but no one answered it, i have two green parrots and they fight alot with eachother…axtually only one fights the other is quite calm. so what can i do to make them friendly with eachother.???

Char  01/23/2011 9:03 pm

Okay, I have taken every precaution for my bird but still need to know if
Silicone, which is probably a glass product causes the PTFE s? Am I at risk for my Moluccan Cockatoo? Will the Silicone penetrate the food cooked inside or cause problems for my bird?

Patty  01/24/2011 10:39 pm

Hi Char,
BIG NO! Silicone is not safe. Its basis is SILICON, which is a natural element on the earth , but siliconE is chemically altered making it unsafe if heated. It doesn’t penetrate the food, but that isn’t the problem. It is the off gasing. Please read this post from a bird forum, it will break your heart as a bird owner learned this the hard way:
Cookware made using silica sand, essentially glass, IS safe. Thank you for taking such good care of your Moluccan!