Polytetrafluoroethylene intoxication in birds

Authors: , , ,


Polytetrafluoroethylene is a unique polymer, which is very present in daily life, and is commonly known as Teflon®. When thermal degradation takes place, toxic gasses and ultrafine particles appear, and may cause intoxication both in humans and animals. The composition and toxicity of these degradation products depend on the specific conditions at the moment of breakdown. The clinical symptoms and injuries differ greatly between species. Birds appear to be very sensitive, and intoxication mostly results in sudden death. The main source of polytetrafluoroethylene intoxication in pet birds, is the heating of non-stick cookware in the kitchen. As the diagnosis and treatment often come too late, the emphasis must lay on prevention.


How to Cite: Caekebeke, N. , Antonissen, G. , De Backer, P. & Croubels, S. (2016) “Polytetrafluoroethylene intoxication in birds”, Vlaams Diergeneeskundig Tijdschrift. 85(1). doi: