Aerosol Poisoning in Birds


PetMD Editorial

Updated Aug. 11, 2022

Fumes And Aerosol Poisoning

Many fumes and other aerosol poisons that affect your bird can be found either in your home, or outside it. From your cookware, to your carpet freshener, the fumes not only irritate your pet bird, but can poison it.

Symptoms and Types

You will know if your bird has suffered from fumes or aerosol poisoning because it will have difficulty breathing, tremors and other neurological symptoms. In severe cases, there may be sudden death. Unfortunately, the time between the bird exhibiting symptoms and death, is usually short.


Cookware with coated surfaces can create poison fumes. This includes cookware of the non-stick variety -- surfaces coated with Teflon, Silverstone, Tefzel, and other fluoropolymers. Other household appliances coated with fluoropolymers include bakeware, some types of heating lamp bulbs, self-cleaning ovens, and irons.

When heated to 240 degrees Celsius (464 degrees Fahrenheit), the fluoropolymers begin to vaporize and release acidic fumes, which can poison your bird. It is important to note: these are normal cooking temperatures. Fluoropolymers are not the only causes for fumes or aerosol poisoning in birds. Your bird can also be sensitive to aerosol fresheners (air, carpet, etc), spray disinfectant, insect killers, etc.

The fumes from burning plastics (like the kind which melts in a microwave oven), new heating duct system, or smoke from fire can also release fumes and aerosol poisons.


Normally, these types of fumes or aerosol poisons prove fatal for the bird, as they do not display any symptoms. However, if you notice your bird exhibiting any difficulty in breathing, give it fresh air and bring it to a veterinarian for immediate attention.


You can prevent your bird from inhaling fumes or other aerosol poisons, by keeping it near a fresh air source while cooking or spraying the house.

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