This case report describes an incident of increased airport scrutiny by the Transportation Security Administration of a patient-passenger carrying ammonium lactate–containing moisturizer.
After the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil on September 11, 2001, the 107th Congress passed the Aviation and Transportation Security Act on November 19, 2001, and established the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to oversee all modes of transportation, including air travel. Subsequently, after a liquid explosives threat in 2006, the restrictions further tightened so that travelers could carry liquids onto airplanes only in conformance with the “3-1-1 liquids rule,” ie, in containers no larger than 3.4 ounces (100 mL) in a 1-quart plastic bag. Then in 2010, after the attempted bombing of a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, the Explosives Trace Detection Test (ETDT) was implemented, a screening process that involves “swabbing” for explosive materials. The TSA prohibits items on airplanes such as explosives and/or flammables, firearms, food items, self-defense items, sharp objects, sporting goods, and tools; however, items of all types are subject to scrutiny. The final decision whether to allow an item onto an airplane rests with the individual TSA agent.1