Tag Archives: plane

Why can’t you bring more than 100ml of liquids on the plane with you?

One of the most annoying things that can happen to us at the airport is having to throw some things out of our luggage. Obviously, this is the result of numerous terrorist attacks. Some of the prohibited items are understandable: knives, screwdrivers, sharp objects, pressurized containers, etc. Unfortunately, you cannot take with you even such an ordinary item as a bottle of drink, even if it has not been opened and has an intact cap. There are special exceptions such as prescription medication or baby milk. Additionally, we may bring liquid with us if the bottle does not exceed 100 mL. Why such a random limit? Why not 200 or 500?

Security restrictions warning (Source: Gatwick Airport)

It seems that there is no conspiracy by the producers of overpriced drinks sold in the duty-free zone, but scientific research. In 2006, Islamic terrorists tried to smuggle on board a number of everyday objects filled with chemicals. The chemicals were, among others, in bottles from popular sodas. The caps were intact, the bombers drilled tiny holes in the bottom of bottles through which they injected the chemicals. To make the illusion perfect, the would-be assassins added special dyes to the solution to mimic the colors of real drinks. On board the plane, the ingredients from the bottles were to be mixed together and detonated. Fortunately, the attack did not take place. Airport services cannot thoroughly check each bottle of drink, hence the ban on bringing them in. But why are we allowed to bring in a bottle of perfume for example, if it is not more than 100 ml? Well, as a result of research it has been determined that with such a quantity of commonly available chemicals it is impossible to produce an explosive charge capable of destroying an aircraft, or even endangering the life and health of passengers.

Now the reader may ask another question – what about more concentrated agents? In the movies, sometimes it only takes a few drops of some substance to cause a decent explosion. Serial Walter White blew up an entire room with a small crystal. Yes, there are agents that can do a lot of damage in small amounts, but they are extremely difficult to obtain or produce. In addition, such substances are often unstable and dependent on various factors such as temperature, pressure and humidity. There are also problems with transportation and storage. The final obstacle for a potential terrorist is the various types of detectors that such a substance would have to pass through. As a rule, the more dangerous the substance, the harder it is to use, which is why they are beyond the reach of ordinary terrorists grasping for more “homemade” methods.