Questions about explosives


Patricia, a loyal Ashvegas reader, sent us a note about Boing Boing readers jumping on Ashvegas airport officials for having people dump all liquids into the same bin. The Boing Boing post, right here, uses the Asheville Citizen-Times front page photo today to help make the point that if we’re talking about liquid explosives, shouldn’t we take a little more care with them, rather than just pouring everything into a bin?

The great photo shows a baby crying in the background as mom pours her drink out into a container.

But dumping the liquids may not be so bad after all. Patricia follows with this:

turns out that they are slamming A’ville airport for something (combining liquids) that is not dangerous – so actually, it is the Boing Boing folks who are wrong!

This from a friend in the explosives industry:

One of the two substances is liquid, the other is a powder. Alone, they are stable enough to even be shipped via UPS. Because of the chemical properties, you can put as much of the different liquids together and still get only harmless liquid. Mixing that liquid with water, juice, hairspray… doesn’t matter. It’s still safe.

Same with the powder. Mix it with pretty much anything, it’s still safe.

Together they have a chemical — not physical — reaction.

So… as far as I know about explosives (which is more than the average joe but nowhere near expertise), pouring the confiscated liquids together is reasonably safe. Just don’t toss in mysterious powders.