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The United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) this past week instituted a new rule of limiting any type of powder an airline passenger may carry onboard an aircraft without added scrutiny. The new rule might extend your airport security check if you do not abide.

The TSA new rule allows 350 milliliters (about the size of a 12-ounce soda can) of powder to pass through a security checkpoint without questions. However, one must remove the container from their carry-on bag and place it in a separate bin (like we do now with laptops) before their items proceed through the X-ray scanner. If the container of powder is larger than the 350 milliliters, then it and the traveler will be pulled aside for additional inspection by a TSA agent. The TSA is encouraging passengers traveling with larger containers of powder to pack the containers in their checked bags.


The main security concern relates to powders that might inflict harm or be used to create explosives. Powders that might inflict harm include fentanyl (an opioid pain reliever), weed killers, pest killers, and pepper powder (used in pepper spray devices). The report indicated, but did not list, that select powders might be combined to create explosives used to cause harm onboard an aircraft. Powders that are flammable, such as gunpowder, or illegal drugs, such as cocaine and heroin, are totally banned from carry-on and checked bags.


The new rule is in effect now in the United States. It goes into effect on 30 June 2018 for all flights bound for the United States from origins outside the country. If one is traveling to the United States from countries such as China, India, Morocco, and Turkey where spices in powder form are often purchased, then we suggest that you pack the spices in your checked luggage. Also, please keep in mind the size limits when placing powders such as baby, detergent, make-up, milk, and protein in your carry-on.

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