"All That Glitters"
by Theresa Jordan
Almost every bird I have ever known, loves to chew on anything that glitters. The jewelry we wear is one of their prime
targets. What bird can sit on you without trying to remove your earrings, eat your bracelet and watch, saving your necklace
All jewelry is not safe for your bird. Some of it contains lead. Lead poisoning can kill humans or make them very ill. It will
kill your bird. Every technical book on metals warns us of the cumulative and toxic nature of lead in the human body. This is
also true for our birds.
Lots of lead is used in the manufacture of what is generally called "costume" jewelry or any jewelry you have that you would
classify as "not real".So, how do I know what is safe for my bird? Iron, steel, copper, bronze, brass, nickel, tin, gold, and
silver are not toxic metals. What needs to be avoided is lead and a metal called "pot metal" or "white metal". This is what
most "fake" jewelry is made of. It is inexpensive and used to make castings of almost any item imaginable
Pot metal is like a recipe melted in a pot containing combinations of tin, antimony and lead. This is then poured into molds to
make jewelry and other small metal items. The metal is then plated or painted to look like gold or silver. By the time the
piece is complete, it is almost impossible for someone to know what it is actually make of, because it will appear to be
another metal: gold, silver, etc. ... My advice is not to let your bird chew on any metal you can't identify. Don't try to guess.
Be safe. Don't take a chance and be wrong. You can protect your bird from exposure to the hazard.
Here is a list of items that could possibly contain lead. I am sure you will be able to find other things to add.
|Belts that look like chain links|
|Costume jewelry of all kinds|
|Decorative metal parts on bookends, picture frames|
|Key chain ornaments|
|Lamp finials (decorative piece on top)|
|Lead foil seals on wine bottles around cork|
|Lead sinkers from fishing gear|
|Linotype (letters from old printer's trays)|
|Metal beads or ornaments on necklaces|
|Souvenir spoons with fancy tops|
|Stained glass lamps (also called leaded glass)|
|Stained glass sun catchers|