Skip to comments.Do you use it? The everyday product that can trigger false positives on TSA explosives test
Posted on 04/30/2013 7:13:47 AM PDT by TSA-Watch
Youre gonna love this. It turns out that two products that most of us use multiple times a day can trigger a false positive result for explosives during a TSA screening.
The culprits? Soap and lotion. Dont believe me? A few days after the Boston bombings, Linda, an Oklahoma native, was flying out of Port Columbus International Airport (CMH) in Ohio when she was randomly chosen for a hand swab at a security checkpoint.
The TSA agent swabbed her hand and promptly informed her that she had tested positive for explosives, specifically nitrates.
The poor woman was naturally befuddled and racked her brain to think of everything she had touched that day.
I was shocked. I dont know how that happened. The only thing that went through my mind was, What did I do? What did I touch? because I had been at work all morning, Linda said.
She recalled washing her hands at work that morning and then used some lotion that was sitting on the counter. When she accidentally used too much, she slathered it on all the way up to her elbows.
Linda was eventually cleared after an extremely thorough pat-down of her entire person by TSA agents.
So what did cause the false positive?
It turns out that glycerin, the ingredient in some soaps and lotions that helps keep your skin soft and smooth, is also a common ingredient in explosives.
Soaps and lotions arent the only things that can cause a false positive in the TSAs swab test for explosives either. Some heart medications containing nitroglycerin can also trigger a false positive, as can lawn fertilizer.
The moral of the store? Dont wash your hands after using the bathroom at the airport and be sure to give the TSA agent a hearty handshake after your complimentary grope as a thank you for a job well done.
you could just double check to make sure that the soap that you use doesnt contain glycerin. Your choice.
Here’s the original source where the blog stole the story:
If you do the graveside ceremonies you will probably walk away with lawn fertilizer ~ particularly if you wear tennis shoes!
Never touch the stuff.....
Just flew out of Las Vegas last week. Who do they pick out of the line? The grumpy looking guy (me)? Or the cute little lady next to me? (the wife) yup, you guessed it, b-line for the wife again. I look thru the crowd and there are many people who I wouldn’t mind someone taking a second look at, but no... they go for the easy target everytime. These people are just window dressing at best.
please stay down wind . . . LOL!
At least we know that the tests are sensitive...better safe than sorry, right?
The chemical test for explosives can detect nitroglycerin? I think that's a true positive. You might use it for medication rather than blowing stuff up, but it is still nitroglycerin.
About 5 years ago there was a huge local story about a man at our airport testing positive for explosives and them shutting the whole airport down. He was a gardener.
Glycerin and glycols are in almost EVERYTHING. Soaps, lotions, antifreeze, fuel additives, and it’s an integral part to metabolic functions in our bodies. This is one of those instances where ONE particular use (explosives) demonizes the rest of the safer, inert uses.
Exactly why it is important to go after the people not the materials. IOW profile. Meanwhile the TSA remains mired in minutia.
I’ve set the chem detector off a few times. Usually it is my shoes picking up fertilizer residue.
Thank goodness the TSA saved us from a horrible outcome on an airplane! /sarc
In that case, wouldn't a test that gives a positive result 100% of the time be the best test of all?
Yes, apparently this test gives a really high, if not 100%, percentage of glycerin. Glycerin is a component of the explosives they are looking for, isn’t it?
I’ve gone thru TSA patdowns with shoes I had worn at the range a day or so earlier, and curiously, it never pinged their GCMS.
The woman was befuddled and shocked. THAT is the intention, not safety and security. Grind the public into submission and teach them to be good little sheep with their heads up their a$$es.
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