Hope for Ostomates: A Carbon and Zeolite Impregnated Polyester Fabric Inhibits Urine Odor in Cancer Patients: A Randomized Experimental Study

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Urology, Humanitas Mater Domini, Castellanza, Varese, Italy.

2 Department of Urology, IRCCS Humanitas Research Hospital, Rozzano, Milan, Italy.

3 McAuley School of Nursing, College of Health Professions, University of Detroit Mercy, Detroit, Michigan, USA.

4 Mercy Health Visiting Nurses Services and Hospice Services, Muskegon, Michigan, USA.

5 Italian Ministry of Defenses, Military Veterinary Center, CEMIVET, Grosseto, Italy.

6 Muskegon Ostomy Association, Muskegon, Michigan, USA.

7 Department of Biomedical Sciences, Humanitas University, Pieve Emanuele, Milan, Italy.

8 Department of Immunology and Inflammation, IRCCS Humanitas Research Hospital, Rozzano, Milan, Italy.

9 University of Michigan, Department of Urology, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.


Objective: Many individuals with bladder cancer have undergone a surgical urostomy and often complain of being self-conscious of the unpleasant smell of their own urine. The focus of this study was to test the efficacy of a pouch cover made of a carbon and zeolite containing polyester material to inhibit the smell of urine by comparing two trained dogs’ response time in detecting volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in urine, with and without the fabric covering the samples. Methods: This study used a randomized, blinded experimental design to evaluate the efficacy of a fabric to interfere with two highly trained dogs’ ability to detect specific VOCs present in the urine of prostate cancer patient. Ninety urine samples were analyzed in this study. Results: Prior to the experiment, both dogs accurately detected VOCs in the uncovered test urine samples of men with prostate cancer with a sensitivity and specificity of nearly 100%. Both dogs recognized the “uncovered” urine samples of men with prostate cancer within two seconds. When the test sample was covered with the study fabric, the test urine samples were detected within 30-40 seconds and in some instances the dogs were not able to identify the covered samples, whatsoever. Conclusion: The findings of this study demonstrate that the carbon and zeolite containing polyester fabric did significantly interfere with the ability of the dogs to detect VOCs in urine of men with prostate cancer. The fabric may show promise as a pouch cover in controlling offensive urine odor which many ostomates experience.


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