What’s in Your Stoma Powder?

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Being vegan when it comes to food isn’t usually difficult, but when it comes to medication, supplements, and medical supplies, things can get challenging.  Becoming an ostomate means that we’re forced to use ostomy supplies, but it doesn’t mean we don’t have options when it comes to deciding which one of those supplies we get to use.

One case in point: Stoma Powder

VIDEO:

UPDATED NOV 5, 2013 WITH NEW INFO FROM HOLLISTER

This doesn’t seem like something that would be an issue, but those of us who are mindful of the use of animal ingredients which go into our products, it’s something we should explore.

And as I did my research, I came to find that more than just vegans are concerned about the use of animal ingredients in their ostomy products.

One study explored the use of animal products in various major world religions and found that many groups exclude products made from pigs or cows (SOURCE). Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs all prohibit the use of pork products; gelatine derived from pork is a very common ingredient used in ostomy supplies, so this poses an obvious conflict for many people.

Since most manufacturers don’t list their ingredients on the package, it’s good to check out the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for those products.  Please note that some product MSDS’ may not list ALL ingredients, but only the important stuff; In this and some other cases, you’ll need to call or email your supplier to find out.


 Hollister Adapt stoma powder (Hollister #7906)  

Hollister-stoma-powder-large_7906_94
Hollister Adapt Stoma Powder – not vegan

Hollister doesn’t have an MSDS for this product. When I wrote to them, I received a letter which states: “An MSDS is not required for the above product, according to the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (Right-to-Know)”.  Fair enough, but I was still able to ask about their ingredients and it was confirmed that there are no animal products in their stoma powder.  

UPDATE NOV 5, 2013: Hollister emailed me back with the following letter:

Please disregard the previous TSE Free Statement as there was an error in the ingredient list in the Bill of Materials (BOM) for the Adapt Stoma Powder, Product Number 7906. 

The Adapt Stoma Powder does contain one animal derived material—gelatin derived from pork skin. The vendor has stated that the porkswine gelatin was produced in the USA solely from 
pigs and no other material of animal origin, other than the skins of swine, were used in the gelatin manufacturing process. The pigskins are from hogs slaughtered in the U.S. or Canadian 
hog processing establishments that are USDA or CFIA licensed and inspected. The pigs received ante- and post-mortem health inspections by a USDA or CFIA veterninary service inspector and are approved for human consumption. 

Yeah, so… I’m upset to hear about this, because I’ve been using the Adapt powder, but at least I know now and won’t continue to use this product.

Ingredients:

No ingredient list is offered, but Hollister confirmed to me in writing that their 7906 Stoma Powder does not contain animal ingredients.

Contains gelatin derived from pigskin. This product is not vegan.


 ConvaTec’s Stomahesive powder (ConvaTec #25510)

Convatec-stomahesive-powder
ConvaTec Stomahesive Powder – not vegan

The MSDS for this product can be found HERE.

Ingredients:

Sodium carboxymethyl cellulose
Pectin
Gelatin

Oh oh, gelatin.  Derived from animal bones, skin, or cartridge means this product is not vegan.


 Coloplast Brava Powder (Coloplast #19075)

brava-ostomy-powder
Coloplast Brava Powder – vegan

The MSDS for this product can be found HERE

Ingredients:

Sodium carboxymethyl cellulose
Fermented polysaccharide
Guar gum

All vegan ingredients. 


There are other brands out there, but these three are probably the most common and can be purchased just about everywhere.

I should point out that while the ingredients in these products are relatively benign, there is the possibility that animal testing was done on any or all of these products.  The FDA explains WHY this is required for many products, although many vegans would disagree that animal testing is required at all, especially for a product like this; human volunteers would offer better feedback, could be appropriately compensated, and more importantly, give their consent.

If you aren’t using one of these, which brand are you using? Have you checked what’s in it?

Additional reading:  You can check out a list of other ostomy products that do/do not contain animal ingredients HERE.

 

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7 thoughts on “What’s in Your Stoma Powder?

  1. I just happened to read an old surgical stoma book from 1986. They mentioned the use of karaya powder. I investigated a little. Hollister still sells it. This is what I found: Karaya, or “Karayagum” is a vegetable-based all natural product derived from the soft Sterculia urens tree native to India and Pakistan. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4317104
    I have never worked with it (I’m just studying to become CWON) but found your very informative site. Thank you!

    • Hi Eveline,

      Thank you for your comment! Karaya products are still being sold by Hollister, although they aren’t as popular as the modern products (especially in wafers). I haven’t been able to get an ingredients list for the Karaya powder, so I haven’t listed it here, but if I do it’ll be put up!

      I have been told that the Karaya wafers aren’t very durable and can “melt” quite quickly vs. the synthetic products offered by hollister. But they are supposed to be quite skin-friendly for those who need it.

      Take care!

      Eric

  2. Tis info is so helpful I will switch to the brava at my next order gladly I don’t use powder very often. Do you have information on the barrier wipes and sprays?

    • Most of the barrier wipes and sprays I’ve seen are free of animal products. Some barrier rings contain gelatin depending on the manufacturer.

      Most adhesive remover wipes/sprays are silicone based and don’t typically contain animal products.

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