Keeping your birds safe while decorating your home


Dear Cathy,

We would love to have the interior of our home painted professionally, but we have two birds. One is a Cockatoo that we've had for 32 years, and the other is a parrot that we've had for three years. I've done research on using low VOC paint, but I still don't trust what I've read. We love our birds, but haven't painted in the 18 years of residing at such home. We also have two dogs. -- Michelle, Naugatuck, Conn.

Dear Michelle,

As a long-time bird parent, you clearly know how sensitive birds are to even the slightest change in the air and environment, and are smart to ask questions about painting around them. The fumes from a freshly painted room can be lethal for your feathered friends. That's because some of the most harmful chemicals in paint come from Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs, which are released into the air not just when you paint, but for several years afterward.

Low VOC and No VOC (which is just super low VOC) paints are good alternatives to regular paint because they reduce VOCs released into the air. But it doesn't mean....

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