Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Health

To fart or not to fart: that is the question.

airplane_seats-225x300.jpg

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Photo: flickr/sbamuellerSmelly farts on airplanes: we've all been there, either as the producer or the consumer (or often both). Unfortunately, little attention has been paid in the literature to this all-too-common phenomenon...until now. We can't tell whether these authors are being totally serious or not, but either way, we think their suggestion for how to deal with the issue of smelly farts on airplanes is a pretty good one.Flatulence on airplanes: just let it go. "Flatus is natural and an invariable consequence of digestion, however at times it creates problems of social character due to sound and odour. This problem may be more significant on commercial airplanes where many people are seated in limited space and where changes in volume of intestinal gases, due to altered cabin pressure, increase the amount of potential flatus. Holding back flatus on an airplane may cause significant discomfort and physical symptoms, whereas releasing flatus potentially presents social complications. To avoid this problem we humbly propose that active charcoal should be embedded in the seat cushion, since this material is able to neutralise the odour. Moreover active charcoal may be used in trousers and blankets to emphasise this effect. Other less practical or politically correct solutions to overcome this problem may be to restrict access of flatus-prone persons from airplanes, by using a methane breath test or to alter the fibre content of airline meals in order to reduce its flatulent potential. We conclude that the use of active charcoal on airlines may improve flight comfort for all passengers."

plane-farts.png

Related content: NCBI ROFL: Which makes you gassier: pinto beans, black-eyed peas, or baked beans?

NCBI ROFL: Beans, beans, the musical fruit…

NCBI ROFL: Finding the frequency of Fido's farts

    2 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 70%

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In