Learn more about how information technology is changing
our lives and our world. PLUS NEWS + EVENTS

Infant Formula Bombs

With the new security rules, nearly every liquid is banned. Moms and dads will be happy to know this does not include liquid infant formula as long as a baby is in tow. However, powder infant formula is allowed, which is a bit risky.

Powdered infant formula contains crystallized components that can be faked, meaning someone could carry bomb-making agents that look similar. These powders also often contain high concentrations of metals that make it difficult to detect real formula from fake formula – including with the X-ray machines used in airports. It would be necessary, however, for this material to be mixed with another bomb-making agent in order for it to be detonated.

Theft of formulas and black market formula creation and sales is on the rise. Resulting from the high price in infant formulas, some fringe groups are actually profiting from these black market sales – potentially even terrorist groups. And in 1994, a bomb was hidden inside a can of infant formula that exploded in a church in Baghdad.

It is inconvenient to not be able to carry formula or electronics and to have our children scanned, but these are legitimate threats. Not only could a detonator be devised to look like a cell phone, but it could be hidden inside a working phone as well. And terrorists won’t always keep these items on their own person – they could sneak them into our carry-on bags in a tight security line. Be careful.


  1. >another argument for breastfeeding.

  2. >What I find totally interesting and hypocritical is that the TSA said they will not ban such items as cell phones and laptops from carry-on as it will “inconvenience” too many business travelers and cause real disruption to the industry. Really, now? So what they’re saying is, “Hey, terrorists! Disguise yourself as a business traveler and place your bomb components in either cell phones or laptops. Have a nice day.”Except for my serious cynicism saying this is typical election year fear-mongering, if they’re not going to go whole-hog in their item lockdown, they’re ineffectual and might as well have the same security we had on 2001-Sep-10.

  3. >Yes, but if we spend lots of money on TSA and Iraq then we’ll beat Al Qaeda, right? It seems so logical to me. (Please note extreme sarcasm.)