Sunday, February 17, 2013

Scientists support breaking wind on the airplane

A new study says that flatulent fliers should release during flights because holding it in causes bloating, indigestion and heartburn. Charcoal is a remedy to combat the odor.

Afraid of passing gas in the cramped quarters of a plane? A new research study suggest the real damage comes from keeping it in.

To break wind or not to break wind, that is the question. The answer? Let it rip!

A group of scientists took a deep breath and entered an apparently hitherto neglected area of medical research: in-flight flatulence.

High altitude air pressure changes cause more gas to brew in the belly, but such close proximity to other people intimidates gassy passengers to hold in their personal vapors. The gastroenterologists cut to the chase about cutting the cheese: dismiss the social stigma and just go for it.

"(Holding back) holds significant drawbacks for the individual, such as discomfort and even pain, bloating, dyspepsia (indigestion), pyrosis (heartburn) just to name but a few resulting abdominal symptoms," the researchers claim.

"Moreover, problems resulting from the required concentration to maintain such control may even result in subsequent stress symptoms."

The New Zealand Medical Journal published the findings Friday in a 3,000-word essay by the five researchers from Denmark and Britain, reported Agence France-Presse.

The study also claimed that women's farts smell worse than men's, sulfur causes the odor and the average person breaks wind 10 times a day.

The study suggested that airline seats should have charcoal embedded in them because it neutralizes odors.

Nevertheless, they compelled the pilot to refrain from unwinding and letting it go because they concluded that it could pose a safety threat. But they did acknowledge the tricky position this presents to pilots.

"On the one hand, if the pilot restrains a fart, all the drawbacks previously mentioned, including impaired concentration, may affect his abilities to control the plane," they said. "On the other hand, if he lets go of the fart, his co-pilot may be affected by its odor, which again reduces safety on board the flight."

All this suggested farting could render the plane awfully smelly. But the scientists had an answer for that dilemma as well.

"We humbly propose that active charcoal should be embedded in the seat cushion, since this material is able to neutralize the odor."

Passengers can also contribute to counterbalancing the stench, according to AFP.

"Active charcoal may be used in trousers and blankets to emphasizes this effect."

The scientists also brought up the approach of restricting airplane access from flatus-prone individuals but acknowledged it was politically incorrect and less practical.

The minds behind the malodorous mission were Hans C. Pommergaard, Jakob Burcharth, Anders Fischer, William E.G. Thomas and Jacob Rosenberg, who thought of the project on a particularly foul flight from Copenhagen to Tokyo.


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