Should You Put Powders in Checked Luggage?

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If you travel with powders in your carry-on bags, you may be subject to additional TSA scrutiny. (

A new security push has TSA analyzing these items and asking airports abroad with flights to the United States to do the same.

Screenings will be triggered by containers with at least 350 ml of powder, roughly the size of a can of soda. TSA is asking travelers to put these items in checked bags to avoid additional screening.

“For ease of travel, TSA recommends placing larger items in checked baggage prior to arriving at the security checkpoint,” said Mike Bilello, a TSA spokesman. “The international aviation community and industry’s actions represent collaborative approaches that greatly enhance global aviation security.”

TSA is concerned about explosives made from powders, as well as fentanyl and pepper spray in the cabin. Powders, like baby powder, protein powder and spices, could trigger a screening.

“We encourage people to divest certain items — especially organic items — in order to get a clearer view of what’s going on inside the bag,” said Mike England, a TSA spokesman. “It’s something we advise people to do. We’re asking our foreign partners to do what we’re already doing domestically.”


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