Flying Soon? TSA to Begin More Aggressively Screening Powder in Carry-On Luggage

June 20, 2018, 11:04 PM UTC
TSA Seizes Record Number Of Guns in 2015
A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer stands in the TSA pre-check area at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. The TSA, part of the Homeland Security Department (DHS), reported seizing a record number of firearms at U.S. airports in 2015, a 20 precent increase over 2014. Photo by Andrew Harrer—Bloomberg/Getty Images
Andrew Harrer—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Starting June 30, the Transportation Security Administration will be far less lenient about powder in carry-on luggage.

Any passenger on an international flight bound for the United States and carrying 12 ounces or more of cosmetics or talcum powder, dry spices, or protein mix is advised to place powders in checked luggage, as they may be subject to additional security screening. Passengers who do not comply may be subject to additional screening. And if agents can’t identify the substance, it may get tossed in the trash.

TSA’s heightened scrutiny comes after agents foiled a plan last July to blow up an Etihad Airways passenger flight in Australia with a powder-based explosive. TSA spokesman Michael England said that wasn’t the only reason for heightened focus on powders, which have long been seen as a threat when it comes to improvised explosives. Many international airlines started voluntarily screening for powders last year, England told CNN.

TSA has also cracked down on other types of carry-on items in the past year, expanding the list of electronic devices that must be removed from cabin baggage last summer.