Zinc compounds in urethral catheters: A possible source of toxicity?

M. Talja, Kristina Saarela, L. Andersson, M. Ruutu, O. Alfthan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The cytotoxicity of latex urinary catheters has been earlier documented. During the manufacturing process tens of chemicals are added to the natural rubber base. Several of the accelerators and other chemicals used have carcinogenic and acute toxic effects. Some of the accelerators are zinc compounds. In the present study, the cytotoxicity and zinc concentration of 68 latex catheter extracts were analysed. The siliconized latex catheters were the most toxic, and a correlation was seen between the IC50 values and the zinc concentration. The good manufacturing practice (GMP) has to some extent resolved the cytotoxicity problem of latex urinary catheters. There is, however, still a need to reformulate the manufacturing process and to find new catheter materials to meet the new EN standards concerning the biological safety of urinary catheters.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-79
JournalAnnales Chirurgiae et Gynaecologiae
Publication statusPublished - 1993
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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