HARRISBURG—Airport security agents may soon be swabbing your hands to check for explosive residue.
The new tests are a response to the attempted bombing of a flight over Detroit on Christmas Day.
The Transportation Security Administration believes swabbing passengers' hands could be a better way to detect explosive materials.
"They were doing it in Raleigh (N.C.)," airline passenger Anita Hillhouse recalled as she headed to her Thursday morning flight at Harrisburg International Airport.
Hillhouse flies frequently for work. She said she's not bothered by the additional security.
"I think they're trying to do the right thing," she said. "I'm just not so sure the technology's where it needs to be."
The swab technology is nothing new. It's called "explosive trace detection," and screeners have routinely been using it on randomly selected bags.
"They're going to look in different areas, and try to have a little more of a random screening, a little more detail," HIA spokesman Scott Miller said.
For security reasons, it is not known when screeners at HIA will begin using hand swabs.
Miller said the swabs should not slow down the security line, which he said typically takes two to three minutes to get through.
"I don't think this new policy is going to do much in terms of adding delay or inconvenience or hassle," Miller said.
Some fertilizers and heart medicines can cause "false positives" from the swab test.
That has civil liberties advocates calling for respectful treatment of all passengers.
The swabbing is not intended to test for drugs or other non-airline-security-related contraband.