Flatulence pads pass the smell test

It’s not something we often like to speak about.

Well, some do, on late night commercials and when Oprah has a chat with Dr. Oz.


Now comes the Model FD-R Flat-D Reusable Flatulence Deodorizer.

Actually, as silly as that sounds, the problem is a serious one for people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, Crohn’s disease and celiac disease, which can cause people to break wind because of poor digestion.

The FD-R is an odor-absorbing pad that you can tuck into your underwear.

And who hasn’t inadvertently passed gas at an inappropriate moment, such as in church, in an airplane or on a first date?

With the help of some Marysville baseball players, a hunk of limburger cheese and parental permission, I tested the FD-R, which is made by Flat-D Innovations Inc. of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to eliminate “odors associated from flatulence.”

April is also IBS Awareness Month, so let’s bring the issue out from under the blankets.

The company’s odor-halting pad is made with an activated charcoal filter, like those on some cigarette butts. The Flatulence Deodorizer is a three-ply cloth pad that is secured to the body, preferably with medical tape.


But the pad needs to be flush against the tush to stop things right at the source. The company helpfully sent me a sample pad for the test. The pad is shaped like a small ping-pong paddle.

I chose not to do a real experiment, thank you very much (though I hang with some rip-snorting test subjects).

Seeking something that reeked from a science lab, I contacted Everett High School chemistry teacher John Bittinger, who thoughtfully listed a bunch of good reasons why his chemistry students wouldn’t produce hydrogen sulfide, the component of flatulence, for me.

Bittinger suggested I visit a joke shop and buy a stink bomb.


Safeway carries limburger cheese.

(People, do you really eat limburger cheese? My goodness, it’s as bad a stench as fish fertilizer on a summer field east of Monroe.)

Who could I persuade to do the test? The Boy Scouts turned me down. They said they’d pass.

Plan B: What could be more appreciative than boy noses? So I visited a Friday practice where boys of all ages were playing baseball at a field in Marysville.

I explained to moms and dads what I was trying to do, and gave seven boys the test I devised.

I had three containers with lids.

In the first tub, I put crushed garlic, just to make sure their noses were in gear.

Tub No. 2 was stuffed with smashed, unfiltered, full-power limburger.

Tub No. 3 also had limburger, surrounded by the Flat-D Reusable Pad.

I had them rate the cheese odor from 1 to 10, 10 being totally gross. Then the smelling began.

All the boys recognized the garlic, so their sniffers were up to the task.

They all bravely smelled the limburger, most rating it in the generally gross, 7 to 10, arena. But with the FD-R, four out of seven said the pungency of the cheese was cut to a more acceptable strength.

So the $12.95 deodorizer sort of did its job.

Company vice president of marketing, Frank Morosky, toots a corporate horn for the product.

“Usually most people know of a smelly, gassy person,” Morosky said. “The inventor, Brian Conant of Mililani, Hawaii, has lactose intolerance. If he drinks milk, he is very smelly.”

What is nice for the budget conscious is that the pads can be washed and reused. As the brochure says, the Flat-D may be used daily or on an “as needed” basis. There even is a model designed for women who wear thong undies.

There’s really nothing more to say.

Pass your own judgment.

Columnist Kristi O’Harran: 425-339-3451 or oharran@heraldnet.com.

Baseball players did a smell test for the Model FD-R Flat-D Reusable Flatulence Deodorizer. They smelled tubs with plain limburger cheese and one with limburger cheese wrapped in the deodorizer pad. They rated the aroma, from 1 to 10, with 10 being gross:

NamePure limburgerLimburger and pad

Colin Sanders, 1278

Josh Layton, 1620

Harley Layton, 1396

Conner Martinis, 1180

Alec Killpack, 1376

Brad Blanchard, 141010

Jarod Hestkind, 13Couldn’t smell the cheese

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