The United States is easing its ban against carrying liquids and gels onto planes at U.S. airports.

A top official of the Transportation Security Administration, Kip Hawley, says that starting Tuesday, travelers will be allowed to take small amounts - 85 grams or less - of liquids, aerosols and gels into the passenger cabin.

He said the items must be placed in a one-liter-sized, clear, zip-top bag. He said passengers will also be allowed to carry on beverages purchased in secure boarding areas.

The ban against carrying liquids and gels onto aircraft started August 10 after British officials announced they had broken an alleged plot to blow up U.S.-bound airliners with liquid explosives.

Hawley said experts have done extensive explosive testing and found that the ban on smaller amounts of certain substances is unnecessary.

The deputy secretary of Homeland Security, Michael Jackson, said the threat level for the United States remains high, at the "orange" level.