More Airport Security for Houston Travelers

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Travelers at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston could encounter new high-tech security machines.

The Transportation Security Administration has installed two explosives-detection machines as part of federal efforts to make airports safer.

TSA screener and trainer Gene Brault says the 160-thousand-dollar machines can detect explosives particles as small as one-billionth of a gram.

The so-called "puffer machines" work by blowing particles off a passenger's body with puffs of air. A vacuum sucks the particles into an overhead compartment, where the molecules are heated and ions are analyzed for traces of explosives.

Both of the machines are in the airport's Terminal E, which handles international and domestic Continental Airlines flights.

Officials say the machines will be used to check travelers selected for more in-depth screening.

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