Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Quite Possibly The Strangest Business Idea To Ever Make It To This Blog

Brian Conant stood alongside his fellow National Guardsmen during a training session about eight years ago in Hawaii. He was wearing a heavy chemical warfare suit lined with charcoal.

"Any time I expelled gas in the suit, I realized nobody could smell it," Conant, 48, says. "It was amazing."

According to the American College of Gastroenterology, 58 million Americans suffer from one or more medical disorders that cause excessive gas. To treat it, doctors usually recommend a change in diet. Sometimes they recommend medication, such as Gas-X or Bean-O, which alters the bacteria that may be causing the foul odor. But with Conant's invention, the Flatulence Deodorizer, also known as Flat-D, there is an alternative way to limit the embarrassment.

The long, narrow washable pad, lined thinly with charcoal, absorbs chemicals, including hydrogen sulfide, a byproduct of the bacteria that causes odorous gas. The pad, at $12.95, curves with the contour of the body, and one size fits most.

For those who fall outside the "most" category, Conant has developed the "overpad," partly due to the increasing number of phone calls from those who have just undergone gastric bypass surgery. "Can you guess our best month?" asks marketing director Frank Morosky. "January, because people have made New Year's resolutions to eat healthier. And, it turns out, healthy foods like broccoli, beans and whole grains cause gas."

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