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Cough drops set off metal detectors


Last night at the airport, I removed all the metal from my pockets and walked through the metal detector. It went off.

I discovered the iPhone earbuds remaining in my pocket, and removed them, and tried again. It went off again.

I emptied my pockets to show the security person that I had nothing metal in them. "All I've got is paper and this bag of cough drops," I said.

"It's the cough drops," he said.

I didn't see how that could be possible, but I took the cough drops out of my pocket and tried again, and the metal detector didn't go off.

I just now looked more carefully at the bag, and it turns out that the bag's material includes a very thin (almost invisible) layer of metal foil sandwiched between the outer paper layer and the inner plasticized-paper layer. So that must be what set off the detector.

Anyway, travel tip: don't try to carry cough-drops bags through airport metal detectors.

(The brand in question is Ricola; I'm guessing other brands use similar bag materials, but I don't know.)


Oh yeah. The lining on the bag has foil in it. I've run into the same thing with decongestants, even just the individual packets for one or two pills sometimes.

same for foil-wrapped condoms. Just FYI.

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