Whilst for some Americans it may be a walk in the park, for others, packing for trips can be a bit of a minefield. From desperately under-packing to ridiculously over-packing, it’s a sweet science that won’t have gotten easier as a result of the pandemic-enforced grounding of millions of travelers.
However, recent news this week will have made that task that bit easier for travelers. Following a legal challenge, the TSA has moved to allow full-sized sunscreen to be brought on board an aircraft inside hand luggage. Here’s all you need to know about the new rule change.
Why Has It Changed?
Millions of travelers each year either protest or eye-roll at the over-zealous policing of the TSA’s restrictions, with countless items of make-up, bottles of water and perfumes lost due to oversights on the traveler’s behalf, or simply forgetting the restrictions. Most will accept the decision, and say farewell to their precious, but ultimately replaceable, liquids.
However, the dermatology department Brown University went a step further regarding the liquids ban, and challenged the TSA’s ruling on the maximum size limit of sunscreen allowed in carry-on luggage, which was 3.4 ounces. The challenge was based on the fact that sunscreen is needed in order to prevent skin cancer, and so it should be regarded as an essential medical item.
What Exactly Has Changed?
As a result of the challenge by Brown University, the TSA has updated its list of medically-approved items, and fully-sized bottles of sunscreen are now included amongst the likes of medication, inhalers and solution for contact lenses.
Whilst the website still lists the limit as 100ml/3.4 ounces on sunscreen’s carry-on bags section, there is a note below which states:
“TSA allows larger amounts of medically necessary liquids, gels, and aerosols in reasonable quantities for your trip, but you must declare them to security officers at the checkpoint for inspection.”
What Does This Mean For Travelers?
The news is bound to be welcomed by travelers, who will be able to bring larger bottles on board just in time for summer, and it could also prove to be a cost-effective measure too. Americans will no longer have to pay for relatively pricey miniatures, and will not have to pay over the odds for sunscreen upon arrival in their destinations. The news will also be welcomed by Julia A. Siegel, MD, the dermatology resident physician at Brown, and Tiffany J. Libby, director of Mohs micrographic and dermatological surgery at Brown, the two architects behind the challenge.
In an academic journal, the two wrote that “estimates show that increasing sunscreen use by 5 percent per year over 10 years would lead to a 10 percent reduction in melanomas in the United States.” Siegel also added that the average American uses 1.4 ounces of sunscreen per application; given that it should be applied every two hours, the old sunscreen limit would have seen Americans used their 3.4-ounce bottles in just a few hours.
By allowing Americans to be able to pack sunscreen in larger quantities, Americans may be encouraged to be less sparing with their application, ensuring they are adequately covered in the protective liquid. Not only will this prevent vacation-ruining sunburn, but it could also result in a drastic reduction in cases of skin cancer in the country, giving travelers one less thing to worry about.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories