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Metal Toxicity In Toy Parts

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Birdiemarie

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Due to the danger of metal parts in various bird toys this thread has been started so you can voice your concerns, ask your questions and give your experiences. Please use your own experiences only (no here-say without proof of facts). Also please be respectful of our no flaming Rule. Hopefully this thread will be helpful to all.
 
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lotus15

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This is a huge concern of mine! With toys, I find that it is easy enough to find all SS toys, since there are a few boutique stores now who do exclusively SS. My big frustration is perches. Pretty much every perch company I have come across uses galvanized hardware on their perches-- at best, they have SS washers, but the rest is still galvanized. Very frustrating.
 

suncoast

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How do we know which toys are dangerous? Is there a list? I'm worried about the PVC toys I just bought. I'm wondering if I should send them back.

Ginger
 

lotus15

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How do we know which toys are dangerous? Is there a list? I'm worried about the PVC toys I just bought. I'm wondering if I should send them back.

Ginger
I have been doing tons of research on this lately. I do not consider PVC safe-- every single source I've read (the EPA, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, etc.) not only call PVC the "poison plastic" but say even low level exposure to it is highly toxic, especially if being chewed/licked. Most sources specifically mention how dangerous it is for babies and pets. There is a huge movement to remove it from baby toys. For this reason I won't be buying any PVC gyms, toys, etc. I'm quite sad that certain products seem to always have it-- atoms/orbiters for example, and most rope products in general (boings, perches) as caps. I think I'm going to try to find some way to cover them and monitor them closely to make sure my birds are not chewing them.
 

Birdiemarie

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How do we know which toys are dangerous? Is there a list? I'm worried about the PVC toys I just bought. I'm wondering if I should send them back.
Ginger
Good question, Ginger. As with anything relating to the safety of our birds regarding any product we buy it is the responsibility of each consumer to check with the manufacturer regarding any toys they have concerns with. All our vendors are free to clarify here what their toys are made of and you, as a consumer, are free to ask here. We ask you all to please be respectful.
 

jamie

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Here are some things that offer various opinions on this topic:

The Zinc Boogieman. Don't fall for the "Stainless Only" hype, here's the truth about Electroplated Hardware.

Testing for Zinc in Parrot Toys

Alerts Dangers and Toxins for Pet Birds Parrots

Also, I am wary of most anything that's written on topics like this. As you can see from the links, the opinions vary greatly. Also, most articles you see written do not back up their claims (regardless of their perspective) with verifiable evidence, unfortunately. The best alternative is to read a lot of different things and talk with your vet or someone else you trust.

Here's a quote from the first article:

This is the bottom line with this issue. Taking the information in both of those articles at face value, I would agree with their conclusions, Stainless is the way to go. However, here's the Flaw.

They are both talking about Galvanized hardware, not electroplated. Neither article even mentions electroplated. The first article even stated that Zinc has a dull finish. That is Galvanized. Electroplated is shiny.

9 of the last 10 years, I have sold my Play Gyms and toys strictly wholesale to Bird and Pet stores. In many cases, while waiting for the owner to pick out their order, I would browse the store looking at toys, etc. NOT ONCE, IN 9 YEARS, DID I EVER SEE ANY TOYS, CHAINS, QUICK LINKS, ETC. ETC. THAT WERE GALVANIZED, NEVER ONCE. To talk about Galvanized as being what your bird has on the toys, chains, etc. makes the premise of these articles wrong, therefore making the conclusions wrong. If the only choice were Galvanized or Stainless, I would agree that Stainless is the way to go. Galvanized has chunks and pieces of Zinc that could be ingested. Electroplated does not. If you read the article about, I clearly show Pictures of the difference.

So what happens with these articles. Your Vet, perhaps not being familiar with the issue, does an internet search and finds these two articles. Not being a hardware person, they read the articles and conclude that stainless is the way to go. Someone needs to correct these articles, and I guess that's me.

Once again, this is a bigger issue than just the Zinc thing. Once you buy into the ANY ZINC IS BAD mindset, your bird is in trouble. The selection, price and availability of stainless items to make his or her life tolerable is limited at best. And, as is common in most cases, your parrot once again is the loser.

You are now in a position of being educated regarding this issue. For some of you, you perhaps read what is here, but don't want to be confused with the facts. However, for most of you, I hope you will take this info, and use your best judgment.

From a personal note, I want to thank all of you who e-mailed me support for having the guts to stand up for what I believe. Some even order my gyms because they read the info, and understand where I'm coming from. It's people like you, and your lucky birds, that are the reason I'm in business. Thanks.

Wayne
 
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tyger9791

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I have bought baby toys to use for my birds, like the baby rattles (Dom loves to bang these around). i've been told that if it's made for babies then its safe...no metal parts, no lead based paints.

My other concern like most others that have already posted are perches and the metal chains/clips on toys...Dom loves to chew on his perches (plays with the wingnuts too if he can get to them) and he plays with his chains with is beak. how are we to know if the chains are SS?
 

birdlvr466

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Unless you buy from a source that says they are stainless steel, they most likely are NOT. Stainless steel is more expensive and most stores that carry stainless steel have it listed in their item.
 

Birdiemarie

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... i've been told that if it's made for babies then its safe...no metal parts, no lead based paints....
Unfortunately many baby toys get recalled every year due to use of lead-based paint, etc. There is no way of knowing for sure unless you ask the manufacturer, do research and know the company you deal with is diligent about who they buy from.
 

lotus15

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I also recently read this article and found it very interesting. I do not know enough about electroplated materials to know whether or not it is safe but I think that except in the case of Wayne's products, it is largely a moot point because no other company I've seen uses electroplated metals. Always either galvanized, nickel-plated, or stainless.
 

Thugluvgrl187

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Unfortunately many baby toys get recalled every year due to use of lead-based paint, etc. There is no way of knowing for sure unless you ask the manufacturer, do research and know the company you deal with is diligent about who they buy from.
This is true Marie.
 

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Here's my take on things. First metals. Yes, I do think you need to be careful about zinc and I do think that parrots can suffer from zinc toxicosis. Stainless steel is more expensive but at the risk of your parrots health, is it worth the risk? As someone pointed out, SS is expensive so if a vendor is using SS, they will definitely let you know that the material they are using is SS because they want you to know that it's safe and they want you to know why the product is more expensive. TNT Bird Toys uses SS in everything but our pear links which are nickel plated and the only reason we use nickel plated pear links is because there isn't a decent sized SS pear link out there.

There is electroplating but there are two things about electroplating that really bother me. One is that you have no idea what they are using for the electroplating and two, it will eventually come off.

The biggest reason people use zinc is because it's cheap, bottom line.

As to the question about PVC. There are a million different types of PVC out there. Shyra is the PVC queen and has done more research than anyone I know and I will prod her into posting on what she has found. The hard PVC that I use on my Tambourine toys is the same PVC that you find being used for plumbing in all new homes today. I will admit that there are a select few out there who will tell you that it's absolutely poisonous, but so far, the government still feels comfortable enough to let us use them in all of our new housing projects. I also have water bottles for all my birds that are made out of the exact same PVC. So, for me, this is just not a concern. Shyra has spoken to experts about this PVC also I believe but I'll let her talk about her findings. Now, as for the soft PVC that you find in many of the baby toys like many of the rubber duckies and a lot of bibs and such...this is not safe for birds to chew on. Once again, this all based on research Shyra has done. I'll try and get her on here to explain. She's a wealth of information and does more research than anyone I know when looking at toy parts!
 

lotus15

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I started doing some preliminary research into hard vs. soft PVC but the problem I ran into was that most things are not labeled whether they're hard or soft and when I inquired, most people didn't know anyway. How can we tell?
 

GG.

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SS quick links can be found at Grey Feather Toys

I know there are others that carry them and will add the links to this post:)



this is a great thread, we can never be too safe in what we offer our featherbabies
 

lotus15

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TNT Bird Toys uses SS in everything but our pear links which are nickel plated and the only reason we use nickel plated pear links is because there isn't a decent sized SS pear link out there.
If it's the pear-style in particular you are looking for, I'm pretty sure Ann at cabirdnerds.com sells Jumbo SS Pear Links!
 

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If it's the pear-style in particular you are looking for, I'm pretty sure Ann at cabirdnerds.com sells Jumbo SS Pear Links!
Those are too big but thanks.
 

luvsgreys

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Wow, I wasn't aware about the PVC. I'll have to do some more research...none of the toys I've purchased have had pvc parts, however, the atom I just bought does have PVC connectors. Would vet wrap be a safe material to cover the pvc?
 
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