Capital Region Parrot Society
Above picture taken by "A Helping Wing Parrot Rescue"
Parrots have a very unique and sensitive respiratory system. Not only do they have lungs but air sacs. In the wild when they fly vast distances by drawing in the air it helps sustain their flights. The air sacs help them hold onto more air. While this characteristic helps them in the wild it can be an issue in our homes. When they breath in harmful fumes this can cause their respiratory systems to fill with a protective fluid. As their systems become agitated this response can cause them to die instantly or cause serious infections and other aliments. The following information covers most household dangers but not all. Always use caution and common sense.
Candles, incense, sprays, cleaners (such as Lysol, wall plug-ins, febreeze, glad and all others): These are highly toxic to parrots and can cause instant death and/or irreversible damage. Some may last longer than others due to the fact that some are naturally stronger than others. Also depends on the amount inhaled and duration.
Smoking: Proven to cause self-mutilation, cancer, death and so on. Never smoke around parrots or allow the substances to come in contact with them. (Can be transferred from dirty hands, clothes, etc. Smoke gets on everything around it.)
Teflon, Self-Cleaning Ovens, Non-Stick Oven Liners, Non-Stick Cookware fumes: Highly toxic and have the same effect as sprays. Even some hair dryers can release these fumes. Always be careful and never use these sort of products around birds. Some pots and pans are tricky with their labeling so its important to read the fine print. Never have parrots out or around where cooking is happening. (Keep them safely secured in there cage in a different room.) Also an open flame and hot pan, with a inquisitive parrot, spells disaster!
Safe Cleaning Methods:
A few safe ways to clean are vinegar and water, poop off, hot water with diluted soap, scrappers, frequent paper changes, sponge scrub and some good old fashioned elbow grease.