Last Updated on April 18, 2023
- Inhalers, including metered-dose inhalers (MDIs), are designed and manufactured to withstand changes in pressure, temperature, and altitude during air travel, and there is no risk of them exploding on a plane.
- Inhaler canisters are typically made from strong materials such as aluminum or stainless steel, and they are engineered to pass pressure tests of at least 100 psi or 690 kPa without leaking or rupturing.
- Inhalers can be safely carried on planes as they are not considered dangerous or explosive whether packed in carry-on luggage in the cabin or in checked luggage in the cargo hold.
As you’re getting ready for your upcoming flight, you notice a warning on your inhaler pressurized aerosol canister:
“Contents Under Pressure. Do not puncture. Do not use or store near heat or open flame. Exposure to temperatures above 120°F may cause bursting. Never throw canister into fire or incinerator.”
You’ve seen what happens to bags of chips or tubes of Pringles on planes, where the lower air pressure at higher altitudes can cause the bags to expand.
So you may wonder, will your inhaler explode on a plane?
Here’s the good news:
Inhalers, including metered-dose inhalers (MDIs) that contain a pressurized aerosol canister, are designed and manufactured to withstand changes in pressure, temperature, and altitude that are commonly experienced during air travel.
If there was a risk of them exploding on a plane, it would be clearly stated on the label!
Second to that, if inhalers explodes on planes then the TSA would not allow passengers to bring them in to the cabin.
But you can bring an inhaler on the plane because they don’t explode and they are not dangerous!
Yes, the air pressure outside the inhaler canister will decrease as the plane ascends, and the contents of the inhaler will push against the sides of the canister slightly more. However, the changes in pressure are not significant enough to cause an inhaler to explode.
Commercial airliners generally cruise at altitudes ranging from 30,000 to 40,000 feet above sea level, but the cabin pressure inside an aircraft is typically regulated to be similar to the pressure experienced at an altitude of 6,000 to 8,000 feet.
Most inhalers are designed to withstand these pressure changes without any issues.
MDI canisters are typically required to pass a pressure test of at least 100 pounds per square inch (psi) or 690 kilopascals (kPa) without leaking or rupturing. Inhaler canisters are often made from materials such as aluminum or stainless steel, and they are engineered to withstand the pressure changes that occur during air travel.
And the cargo hold area of a plane is pressurized too so you don’t need to worry about inhalers exploding in checked luggage. It’s not really a good idea to pack inhalers in checked luggage anyway, but if you do, they won’t explode.
To put it into perspective, the changes in air pressure during a flight are not even enough to cause a can of Pringles to explode. Just make it bulge slightly.
So, you can rest assured that your inhaler is designed to withstand the pressure changes during air travel and there is no need to worry about it exploding on a plane.