Man fired for washing hands, face with own urine

Most cases of blood in the urine have a benign cause. For example, exercise can cause the condition, which doctors call hematuria. But hematuria can also be evidence of urological cancer, so doctors should always follow up to pinpoint the cause. Don't assume that just because urine isn't red it doesn't contain blood. In some cases, urine that appears normal contains red blood cells. Doctors can detect this "microscopic" hematuria via urinalysis.

VIENNA, Austria — A famed Austrian museum has fired an employee for washing his hands and face with his urine.

Alfred Zoppelt says he was fired after 23 years of working as an attendant at the Belvedere, a castle in Vienna with a major art collection. He says his adherence to urine therapy was previously "never a problem."

Zoppelt, 57, said Thursday his notice from Belvedere says he was fired because "you regularly rub urine into your skin, particularly the face and hands. With this, you soil your place of work ... and threaten the health of your co-workers."

A woman answering the Belvedere press department phone confirmed that Zoppelt was fired but refused to give her name or further information.

Believers in urine therapy claim medical and cosmetic benefits but these have not been proven.