SECURITY TAG IN YOUR CLOTHING CAN BACKFIRE
leah Ford of Silver Spring, Md., had already taken off her shoes to pass through airport security in Kansas City but set off alarms anyway. The hand-wand kept beeping at her Ann Taylor pants, and she suggested it might be the tiny anti-theft device sewn inside.ink tag remover
"The security guy didn't buy my story and made me take my pants off," she says. Female security officers behind a curtain also concluded that the little cloth-covered device was the culprit. Meanwhile, there was Ford, feeling "embarrassed and awkward in the airport with no pants or shoes."
The tiny anti-theft device, called a disposable label, has become increasingly popular, says Lee Pernice of Sensormatic, a major manufacturer of anti-theft devices. The label is not to be confused with those clunky plastic gadgets sales clerks remove. Those are reusable hard tags, and it would be hard not to notice one of those hanging off your pants or shirt. The disposable labels, however, are easy to miss. Although Pernice said she hadn't heard they could set off alarms, her technical people confirmed that they do have metal in them. So cut them out, advises Ford. And while you're at it, ditch that underwire bra, too.
Before holding out your hand to greet fellow passengers, consider this: If you hang out in airport restrooms and watch people leaving the stalls, you'll discover a whole lot of them don't wash up.
Survey experts working for the American Society for Microbiology watched thousands of people at restrooms in five U.S. airports and one Canadian airport. Overall, 26 percent of men and 17 percent of women waltzed out without washing their hands. In all but one airport, men were the worst offenders. The anomaly was in San Francisco, where only 20 percent of men failed to wash. Oddly enough, the least likely place to observe hand-washing was in the women's room at the same airport: 41 percent of women skipped the lather.
The society has launched a campaign to reduce, through hand-washing, the spread of pesky illnesses such as colds, serious illnesses such as those that have swept through cruise ships, and deadly diseases such as SARS.