by Hunter R. Slaton | September 01, 2007

SteriPEN Handheld Water PurifierGerm-fearing travelers now have a variety of new products to help indulge their phobia. Some items (like washable plane seat covers) are low-tech, while others (a UV disinfection scanner) sound more like science fiction. For germophobes, however, the extra peace of mind might make all the difference. Here’s a sampling.

* SteriPEN Handheld Water Purifier (pictured above; $130; In 48 seconds, this UV light kills most bacteria, viruses and parasites in a pint of water.

* Nano UV Disinfection Scanner ($80; This handheld scanner promises to eliminate germs clinging to a variety of surfaces with a 10-second pass.

* PlaneSheets ($13 - $30; To avoid unknown substances, use these personal seat covers, which come in a variety of chic patterns -- even “chenille cheetah.”

* Plane Clean Air Filter ($20, replacement filters $7; It attaches to the air vent above your seat and directs a purified “curtain of air” around your face.