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Archive 2013 · Explosive question
  
 
pipspeak
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Explosive question


Had an odd experience going through Heathrow security the other day that almost made me miss my flight.

They decided to do a manual search of my camera bag, which involved swabbing everything for the explosive residue check. No big deal, I thought, having had this done numerous times over the years. This time, however, the machine reported a positive. So they checked again. Another positive. And after two positives, protocol required I be detained until the police and explosive-sniffing dogs arrived.

Remarkably (for Heathrow) this was pretty quick. After the police did a quick background check of me and the dog proved utterly uninterested in my camera gear and bag I was on my (un-merry) way running to the gate to just catch my flight.

The dog handler said it was likely some lens-cleaner residue had set off the machine (it was evidently a very low reading) and I'm curious if anyone has ever experienced a similar issue at airport security or indeed if anyone knows whether lens cleaner can in fact result in a positive explosive-swab test. Now I'm gonna be paranoid every time my bags are picked for a manual search



Sep 18, 2013 at 03:31 AM
15Bit
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Explosive question


They are fairly simple chemical tests that check for the presence of specific chemical groups - nitrates, peroxides, glycerin, probably some amines. Peroxides turn up in cleaning products, glycerin in soaps, nitrates are all over the place. So yes, it is possible that your lens cleaner caused the problem or that you picked up a bit of contamination from somewhere.


Sep 18, 2013 at 05:30 AM
Wobble
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Explosive question


Try transporting your gear in the car trunk, stop and get some fireworks for a holiday (that you also put in the trunk), and you WILL miss your flight.


Sep 18, 2013 at 11:45 AM
pipspeak
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Explosive question


Wobble wrote:
Try transporting your gear in the car trunk, stop and get some fireworks for a holiday (that you also put in the trunk), and you WILL miss your flight.


I assume you tried that for a bit of fun



Sep 18, 2013 at 04:56 PM
PV Hiker
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Explosive question


For my work, cars have road flares in trunk. Laptop case next to them... Comes up positive.


Sep 18, 2013 at 06:36 PM
runamuck
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Explosive question


Great. My doctor just prescribed nitroglycerine. I guess now I stay away from airports totally.


Sep 27, 2013 at 04:12 AM
lukeb
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Explosive question


Wobble wrote:
Try transporting your gear in the car trunk, stop and get some fireworks for a holiday (that you also put in the trunk), and you WILL miss your flight.





Sep 27, 2013 at 04:13 AM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



lukeb
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Explosive question


runamuck wrote:
Great. My doctor just prescribed nitroglycerine. I guess now I stay away from airports totally.


You might also want to refrain from bouncing a lot

They wanted me to carry Nitro Caps after my H/A and Bypass.

But they also wanted me to get a pacemaker.

I have never needed a Nitro (they expire quickly, so you have to buy them constantly) and told them I wasn't interested in a pacemaker.

Hope you never need a Nitro pill !! Stay well.



Sep 27, 2013 at 04:17 AM
JohnBrose
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Explosive question


I had my gear swabbed for powder residue once in our tiny local airport. I was a bit worried because I store all my camera gear with my guns etc. in one of my walk-in vaults(my studio is an old bank). Nothing came up out of the ordinary though. Good you didn't miss your flight. I'm always amazed at what sets off their machines or constitutes a further search. One time they got all freaked out about my table top tripod because they were supposedly in the shape of a gun and another time my daughter accidently had a full size scissors in her carry on and they totally missed it.


Sep 27, 2013 at 05:10 AM
runamuck
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Explosive question


Doc gave me nitro just in case. I've 2 stents in me and never have any chest pain. I think it is just an abundance of caution.


Sep 28, 2013 at 08:54 PM
henryp
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Explosive question


pipspeak wrote:
The dog handler said it was likely some lens-cleaner residue had set off the machine (it was evidently a very low reading) and I'm curious if anyone has ever experienced a similar issue at airport security(


I set one off in a US airport once because I had Johnson's Baby Powder residue. Who'da thought?
- Henry



Oct 01, 2013 at 07:54 PM
PeteT
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Explosive question


Guess its good they just had the dogs check it out... imagine if they started taking apart your glass looking for secret compartments?


Oct 03, 2013 at 06:37 PM
Lotuselite
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Explosive question


I was given a suggestion to make sure my golf equipment was cleaned before travel. I gather some of the fertilizers used on golf courses have nitrates in them and traces, if detected, can cause a more thorough screening.


Oct 03, 2013 at 06:54 PM





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