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Can Liquids On Planes Really Bring One Down?

August 29, 2006 | 6,812 views

Many experts believe that binary liquid explosives (explosives created by mixing two otherwise harmless liquids together) are neither as easy to make or as feasible to use in a terrorist action as the mainstream media has implied in the wake of the recent British terrorism arrests.

It has been claimed that the suspects were planning to use triacetone triperoxide (TATP), a high explosive that can be made from common household chemicals.

The ingredients of TATP include hydrogen peroxide, acetone, and sulfuric acid, all of which are relatively easy to obtain, but mixing them safely would also necessitate bringing several frozen gel-packs, a thermometer, a large beaker, a stirring rod, and a medicine dropper on board the plane with you.

The ingredients must be mixed precisely, drop by drop, watching the reaction temperature carefully, or the result will be a weak explosive that may explode prematurely, killing the mixer but no one else.

The process takes a few hours, during which time the mixture will release strong-smelling fumes. It then must be dried for several hours. This will likely result in an amount of TATP that could be used to blow out several windows, and possibly depressurize the aircraft, but not an amount that would bring down the plane.


Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Earlier this month, I left for the Nature Place in rural Colorado to attend a four-day transformational chiropractic training experience, Total Solution (complete with the ropes course), developed by my good friend Dr. Patrick Gentempo.

There was no radio, TV or cell phone reception at the location. We did have a satellite Internet connection, but somehow I missed the news about the new travel restrictions. Most of the 100 people at the event with carry-on luggage were surprised with the new restrictions at the airport.

Fortunately, I visited some friends in Denver before taking a return flight and they told me about the liquid restrictions, so at least I was aware of them before I arrived and could prepare for my plane ride.

It was incomprehensible the government could have restricted all fluids, including insulin, on the first day. Fortunately, they lifted that one, but this is one of the most inane and blatant elimination of freedoms I have seen yet. It is very clear from the articles linked above that it is virtually impossible to construct an explosive from liquids carried on board that is powerful enough to bring a plane down.

However, the mindless Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents faithfully followed their directives.

When I arrived at the airport I had no liquids but did have my travel Nalgene bottles with me. I was shocked to find out that they were confiscated because they had lids. Even though they were empty, they stole my perfectly good travel water bottles. The excuse was I could fill them up with water in the bathroom.

While I was waiting to board, a grossly overweight gate agent stopped the boarding midway through, went on the plane and retrieved a cup of coffee and bottle of water. She stormed off the plane and angrily announced that if she has to go back on the plane and get anyone's liquids, she was going to call TSA agents and have that person arrested.

And, in one case, pilots turned a plane around because they discovered someone had bottled water on board. What has happened to common sense? The only reason water is restricted is because it is a liquid that could be confused with potentially dangerous chemicals. A protocol could easily be developed to have the person drink the fluid to prove that it is OK (there is no way people would be able to drink a toxic explosive precursor). That would put an immediate end to this nonsense.

The restrictions are so ludicrous that a leading European discount airline, RyanAir, has threatened to sue the British government if it doesn't ease off on its security measures.

All of this is beyond ludicrous and a sad testimony to the progressive deterioration of our culture.

The August 19th Wall Street Journal cites that you have a 33 times greater risk of dying in an auto crash than you do traveling in a plane. Simply walking is eight times riskier than flying and, although I would not ride one, you are still 6.5 times safer on an airplane than you are on a motorcycle.

As Jon Stewart said the other night, "You are more likely to die in your bathtub than in a terrorist attack." You are more likely to die in a car crash than a terrorist attack. In fact, you are more likely to die in the bathtub, due to a car crash, than in a terrorist attack.

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