TSA’s airport screeners to give extra scrutiny to 12-ounce or larger containers of powdered substances

Beginning June 30, Transportation Security Administration agents may ask you to remove containers of certain powdered substances from your bag if those containers are larger than 12 ounces.
(Bob Riha Jr. / Getty Images)

If you’re carrying more than 12 ounces of a powdered something — protein powder or baby formula, for instance — get ready for some extra scrutiny from Transportation Security Administration’s screeners if you have it in your carry-on bag.

“Powder-like substances greater than 12 oz. / 350 ml must be placed in a separate bin for X-ray screening,” the TSA website notes.

It also notes that their containers may be opened, and it urges fliers carrying more than 12 ounces to put those items in checked luggage.

The change takes effect June 30, the Associated Press reported.


You can find out what you can and cannot bring in carry-on luggage on the TSA website. Among problematic items:

  • Alcohol greater than 140 proof. You may not carry it in checked or carry-on bags.
  • Bear spray. It may not be carried in checked or carry-on bags.
  • Bowling pins. You may not carry a bowling pin in a carry-on bag; you may in your checked luggage. Bowling balls are OK in checked or carry-on bags.
  • Cast-iron cookware and cooking spray. Campers, you can carry your cast-iron cookware in your checked baggage but not in your carry-on. You may not bring cooking spray in either checked or carry-on baggage.
  • Cattle prods. No cattle prods are allowed in your carry-ons. They’re OK in checked bags.
  • Creamy cheese and dips. They’re OK but need to be less than 3.4 ounces in your carry-on. Any size is OK in your checked bag. Just make sure you have them wrapped tightly. (That’s not a TSA rule; that’s a practical suggestion.)
  • Chlorine for pool or spa. Leave it at home. You can’t carry it in checked or carry-on bags.

Fortunately, for the good of all mankind, cookies and chocolate are allowed in both checked and carry-on luggage.
You also can ask a question of TSA by Tweeting @AskTSA.