Wood Stain Fumes and bird

Hi, My landlord used highly toxic wood stain to stain the front door, banisters and tables in the hallway outside my studio apartment. My cockatiel was out of the house because the landlord had told me she was planning to recarpet the stairs. She didn't tell me about the stain. It's been a week, and it still smells strongly in the hallway.

My apartment itself only smells near the front door. I need to bring my bird back home, but am scared to due to the fumes in the hallway. How long does one need to wait before it's safe? If I quickly walk him through the hallway into my well-ventilated apartment, is that putting him at risk. I can't board him forever and it could take weeks for the smell to completely dissipate.


Comments for Wood Stain Fumes and bird

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Jun 20, 2012
Wood stain fumes around bird
by: The Avian Vet

Generally for stains you should keep your bird out for 4-5 days. Ventilate his room and he should be ok.

Dr B

Jun 20, 2012
Wood Stain fumes
by: Angela

My husband is a painter and I told him the brand of woodstain that your landlord used and he said it's oil-based and takes a while to cure. I know you must bring your bird back home, so make sure you put him near an open window as far from the door as your apartment allows. If you can't smell the stain in your place, it should be fine for the bird as well. A week has gone by which is sufficient time for the stain to dry. You just have residual odor because of the oil base. Is there anyway you can ventilate the hallway such as a opening window or another door? If not, you could put a draft dodger or some towels at the bottom of the door to keep the smell from continuosly seeping in.

Jun 19, 2012
by: K

Thanks for the reply. I do have to pick up my bird tomorrow and this makes me nervous. Are there any precautions I can take in the house that would help? Also, what would be the signs that this was affecting his health. For the record, the stain used was Minwax Polyshades.

Jun 18, 2012
Wood Stain Fumes and bird
by: Linda

This is the problem with any kind of staining or even painting with latex paint. You need to wait until the smell is gone before bringing your bird back into apartment because whether you realize it or not, the stain fumes are coming into your apartment everytime you open the door. I'm sorry about this, and you will need to keep bird away from apartment until this stain finishes gassing out or curing as it is sometimes called. It can take a month for stain or paint fumes to finish curing out, and even though this was not done inside your apartment, it was done where everytime door is opened the fumes are coming into your apartment. You may not notice it inside your place, and your very small bird most certainly will.

As for the carpet, same thing goes, the fumes from all the materials used in the carpet and/or padding or glue for glue down has to finish gassing out. Carpet is not as bad unless glue is used in the case of glue down carpet. For glue down carpet, it can take a month for it to finish gassing out. It is normally the padding that has the most toxic chemicals in it.

These types of chemicals, paint, stain, glue can cause harm to young human children, dogs, cats, fish, small pets and birds. For anyone planning for new paint or carpeting, these things need to be taken seriously into consideration. Some think latex paint is non-toxic, and that is not the case. When latex paint is wet and for a month after last coat goes on a wall, birds will die from fumes that humans cannot smell. An Avian Vet gave me this valuable information when we had part of our house repainted on inside. Birds had to stay at sitter's for over a month after last room was finished. One of our dogs became ill during this time as well.

So, sorry about leaving bird at sitter's longer, and it would be a good idea to keep her away from these stain fumes until totally gassed out. If stain was done in open air and not closed up, it will take less time. If staining was done in a closed hallway, it will be a month before it finishes gassing out.

Thank you very much for asking this question as the answer will help someone else now or in the future.


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