Are Nail Polish Fumes Harmful To Birds? Let’s Find Out!




Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

Birds are lovely pets but also highly susceptible to harm. Your priority should be to keep them safe and free from any substances that may harm them and ensure that the environment is friendly to them. Since they are such wonderful companions, you’d want them in your room as you doll up and paint your nails. But are nail polish fumes harmful to birds?

Nail polish fumes may be harmful to birds and can cause permanent damage to their lungs, leading to death. Nail polish is made of ingredients like Polyurethane-35, a resin substance that can cause irritation to the bird’s respiratory system if they inhale it. 

Most companies producing nail polish often label them as “Non-Toxic” and therefore declare them as safe. However, these chemicals used to make the nail polish have not been tested on animals, specifically on birds. This article discusses how nail polish affects birds and what to do if your bird eats nail polish. 

Can Nail Polish Kill Birds? 

Nail polish is made of highly toxic chemicals like formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, and toluene, which pose a danger to humans and your birds. It’s common for most companies to declare their nail polishing products as non-toxic as some of these ingredients are replaced with other non-toxic ingredients, but the effect of the toxins may remain the same in birds. 

Birds can either inhale the toxic fumes from the nail polish or ingest them. With the fumes, the effect goes to their lungs, causing severe damage to them. Birds are created with a highly efficient respiratory system to absorb as much oxygen as possible, which is essential to provide enough flight power. This means that their respiratory system is extra sensitive to facilitate fast absorption of oxygen. 

When the bird inhales other substances like nail polish fumes, the harmful gases in the fumes are absorbed as fast and result in poisoning. In cases of chronic exposure in small amounts, their lungs become corroded over time and undergo permanent damage. 

If you’re a person who loves color and glam, it’s possible a thought to color your bird’s claws might have crossed your mind. Probably you have tried painting them while observing the proper ventilation rules and all that. However, this may not be a safe practice for your bird. 

 Not only will you be risking your bird inhaling the harmful fumes, but also your bird will tend to pick on the colors and ingest the nail polish. Birds are attracted to beautiful and sparkly colors, so your bird will want to bite. Ingested dry nail polish may not be too harmful as most of the toxins evaporate with the fumes. 

Nicole Miller Mini Nail Polish Set - 15 Glossy and Trendy Colors

Can Paint Fumes Kill A Bird?

Paint fumes are equally as dangerous, and a freshly painted room may not be a safe place for your little feathered friend. This is because paints contain some harmful chemicals in the form of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which are continuously released into the air around us from the paint, even years later. 

To ensure that your bird is safe, it’s important to keep it away from a freshly painted room for at least 36 hours so that most of the smell can dissipate. Also, choose paint with low or no VOCs to reduce the number of toxins released into the air. 

Caged birds love scratching the cage and eating the paint flakes, which can be harmful to them. Therefore, it’s important to pay attention to the kind of paint you choose for painting their cage. Ensure that the paint doesn’t have any amounts of Zinc, Lead, or Chromate; it’s fast-drying and bonds tightly with the metal surface. 

When it’s time to paint, move your bird to another room and apply the paint in a thin film. Keep the rooms well-ventilated for proper air circulation and fast drying. After the painting exercise, give the room/cage some time before bringing in your bird. 

Can You Paint Your Nails In The Same Room As Your Bird?

Birds are susceptible, so when painting your nails with your bird in the same room, it can pick up on the nail polish fumes. The best thing to do would be to paint your nails outside away from your bird and then come back to them with your nail polish all dried up. 

Imagine having a good time painting your nails with your bird, and all of a sudden, he decides to peck on the brush. He’d probably ingest some, and you’ll be left disappointed at yourself thinking of how careless you’ve been around him. You realize it’s not worth the risk, as your bird can get harmed while you could have painted your nails elsewhere.  

If, for any reason, you want to paint your nails in the same room as your bird, consider keeping all the windows open for proper ventilation and ensure that you face the nail polish bottle away from them. Use a fast-drying nail polish that has ingredients that are considered non-toxic. 

What Do You Do If Your Bird Eats Nail Polish?

Nail polish manufacturers are aware that people often bite their nails, so they manufacture them in such a way that they have very low toxicity after drying up. 

However, the effect may be a little significant in birds, and so you can take some measures to ensure your bird is not severely affected. Some of these measures include:

  1. Feed your bird and give him enough fluids like water and milk in an attempt to neutralize any poisoning that may occur. While you do this, check out for any symptoms that would indicate poisoning. 
  2. If your bird is exhibiting signs like diarrhea or conversions as a result of poisoning, you should start first aid and help the bird stabilize before you seek further medical help from an avian. 
  3. If your pet bird is still young, you may need to visit an avian and have it checked to be sure it’s not in any danger. But if your bird is a bit mature and sturdy, you can observe it for a while as you feed it. Be keen on any signs of illness, behavioral changes, lethargy, loss of appetite, or any other thing that may appear off. 

You can never be too sure of the number of toxic ingredients in the nail polish your bird ingested, so don’t hold back on any measure you feel will help your bird remain well and healthy. 


Keeping a bird as a pet will require effort from your side to provide it with a safe environment where it can grow without exposure to dangerous fumes. Birds are sensitive to a long list of strong scents, smoke, and fumes. Therefore you should ensure that your home is a safe haven for them. 

If you want to learn more about nail polish remover fumes you can read it here.


About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest posts

  • Is Nail Polish Not Vegan? Uncovering Hidden Animal Derivatives

    Is Nail Polish Not Vegan? Uncovering Hidden Animal Derivatives

    This post contains affiliate links.When shopping for beauty products, it’s essential to consider not just the color and quality but also the ingredients and production practices involved. Nail polish, a staple in many beauty routines, may seem straightforward, but its vegan status can be complex. Not all nail polishes are vegan, as some contain animal-derived…

    Read more

  • Best Nail Colors for Fat Fingers: Expert Tips

    Best Nail Colors for Fat Fingers: Expert Tips

    This post contains affiliate links.Choosing the perfect nail color can be a daunting task, especially if you have wider or “fat” fingers. However, with an understanding of nail shapes, colors, and styles that work best for you, it’s possible to find a nail color that not only suits your skin tone but also creates the…

    Read more

  • What Is SNS and Is It Better for Your Nails than Gel?

    What Is SNS and Is It Better for Your Nails than Gel?

    This post contains affiliate links.Taking care of the nails and trying to find the least invasive and damaging technique is what makes ladies constantly search and discover new techniques. One of those techniques is dip powder nails or more commonly known as SNS nails. You may wonder, is SNS better for nails than gel? SNS…

    Read more