By Ross Kelly @stupidrosskelly on Twitter
Chicago — For many of us, flatulence is something of which we rarely think. It is a biological function that happens in nearly every organism on earth, and maybe beyond. And, along with not thinking about passing gas, we are also not thinking about what we are releasing into the common air. The city of Chicago, however, is.
According to studies at the University of Chicago, headed by Dr. Harris Ffloyd, with the American diet consisting of ever-increasing amounts of refined and modified foods, flatulence contains a directly-correlative spike harmful gases. “For as long as chemists have been able to identify molecular components, it has been known that the human flatulence contains Nitrogen, Hydrogen, Carbon Dioxide, Oxygen, and Methane,” says Ffloyd. “But, within the last three years, we have seen new elements popping up,” he adds.
These “new elements” to which Dr. Harris refers are Carbon-Monoxide, Sulfur Dichloride, and ethylene. We are all-too familiar with Carbon-Monoxide poisoning. Nearly everyone has detectors for the silent killer, these days, by law. What you probably aren’t familiar with are Sulfur Dichloride and Ethylene. Well, have you ever heard of mustard gas? That’s right, the chemical weapon used in both WWI and WWII. Now, this is not to say that Americans are farting mustard gas. But, it is to say that the American gastrointestinal system is doing things it definitely shouldn’t be doing.
In January of 2008, Illinois passed a smoking ban in public places, requiring smokers to be at least fifteen feet from a public entrance. Now, as a precautionary measure, the city of Chicago has put a ban on releasing these potentially-harmful gases into the air in public places. That’s right, everywhere you cannot smoke, you also cannot pass gas. Public areas are being equipped with elevated platforms, called Flatulation Ramps, on which citizens are encouraged to express their gases.
There are exceptions for medical conditions, however. Diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, colitis, and gastritis, cause an unhealthy build-up of gases in the gastrointestinal system. Citizens of Chicago with such conditions will be excluded from punishment, usually a fine, so long as they are properly identified as having such an illness. The afflicted can see a physician, and, once verified, can report the Cook County clerk and receive an armband (pictured above), which will permit them to be comfortable in public places. The armband is yellow, with a six-pointed anus on it.
Story by Ross Kelly — Senior Chief Health and Medicine Editor, Varsity Squad.