The TSA Wants You to Take Powders Out of Your Carry-On Bag

Jun 20, 2018

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The Transportation Security Administration is beefing up its screening procedures for powders in carry-on bags.

The new effort means that all powders — i.e. cosmetics, spices, talcum — that are bigger than a standard size soda can (12oz or 350ml) will be subject to increased scrutiny at airport security. Powders are not banned from carry-on bags, per se, but they could be re-screened at airport security, and if TSA officers cannot determine what the powder is, it will have to be thrown out or put in checked baggage.

TSA officers have already been asking flyers to separate items like powders and dense food and snacks from their carry-ons for clearer X-ray screenings, especially heading into the busy summer travel season. But starting June 30, the stricter powder requirement will also apply to flights departing from foreign airports entering the US.

On international flights to the US, the TSA is encouraging passengers to put any powders larger than 12oz/350ml into checked baggage to reduce the chance that they’ll be thrown out. Powders in carry-ons larger than that size could be barred from entering the aircraft cabin.

The new security push stems from concern over potentially using powder to make an improvised explosive device on board, but there is also concern for other harmful powders such as fentanyl and pepper sprays making it onto an aircraft and endangering passengers and crew.

Featured image by PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images.

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