Airports Crack Down on Powder

New anti-explosive measures complement limits on liquids
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2009 1:06 PM CDT
In this March 30, 2009 photo, airline passengers line up at the TSA security check at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in Minneapolis, Minn.   (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Air travelers have yet another thing to worry about when packing their bags: powder. Federal authorities haven’t banned or even restricted baby powder, makeup, talcum powder, and the like, but the TSA is outfitting airports around the country with new kits to test such seemingly innocuous material for explosives. If security screeners spot a powder in an X-ray, they’ll likely pop open the bag, take a sample, and test it.

The TSA says the tests should be fast, and most passengers won’t be subjected to them. “There is no specific threat,” said a spokesman, but powders have been used in IEDs overseas. Passengers weren’t pleased. “There are so many nuances and inconsistencies that travelers are totally confused,” said the head of one travel company. “Is it going to affect my deodorant?” asked one flier. “I’m not giving up my deodorant.”