New TSA Powder Restrictions: What You Need to Know Before Your Next Trip


Every traveler knows that before experiencing the excitement of traveling to a new land, they must also
endure the frustration that accompanies waiting in line to pass through airport security. In order to
make this time-consuming necessity of travel as quick and painless as possible, many fliers brush up on
the regulations published by the Transportation Security Admission, or the TSA, the day before. You’re
likely well-versed in slipping off your shoes, putting all of your liquids (3.4 ounces or less!) in a clear
quart-sized bag, and having your laptop ready for the bin to speed up the process.

Now there’s a new hoop to jump through. The TSA has started to regulate the amount of powder you
can bring on the plane. As of June 30, 2018, any powder-like substances in carry-on bags that exceed 12
ounces, or 350 milliliters, will be placed in a separate bin and be subject to extra screening.

This size restraint is significantly greater than the permittable 3.4 ounces of liquid allowed, but it is still
only the size of the average soda can. This will make travel more inconvenient for those carrying vital
powders such as powdered baby formula or talcum (baby) powder, but to minimize the chance of any
slowdown, smart travelers will be ready to put the powder in a separate bin.

TSA recommends placing any non-essential powders that exceed the 12-ounce restriction in checked
luggage to avoid having to take the time to unpack and segregate these items. Some common non-
essential powders travelers pack include protein and energy powder, powdered makeup, spices, coffee
powder, caffeine powder and laundry powder. Gunpowder and pepper powder are still not permitted
inside the airplane—regardless of whether it’s in your carry-on or checked bags.

Travelers should be prepared that if the TSA agent is unable to identify the powder, it will be thrown
away. In order to prevent this from happening, try to keep the powder in its original packaging, or take
powders under the 12-ounce limit in your checked luggage to avoid this situation entirely.


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