Feature

9 helpful germ-fighting products

Don't get sick!

Whether you use public transportation, need to pump your own gas, or end up in a crowded movie theater, you'll run the risk of catching something this fall and winter. You're also perpetually in danger of getting sick at the office, as germs are often found on keyboards and at coffee stations, as The Wall Street Journal reported recently.

You can prevent being contaminated by taking some the simple precaution of washing your hands regularly. One of my colleagues who gets around town by taxi recently told me that she rarely gets a cold since taxis take credit cards. "I rarely get sick since I don't handle money anymore," she said.

Short of spraying ourselves with Purell every five minutes, there are other ways to ward off germs. That's why The Fiscal Times shopped around to find these 11 items that could help you avoid getting sick this winter.

1. The Germinator Transit Jacket

This jacket was created by innovation consultancy Gravitytank, which has offices in Chicago and in San Francisco. The company is crowdfunding the jacket on Betabrand, where you can purchase it for $223.20. It is made of anti-microbial fabric, has fold-out cuffs with thumbholes to hold rails or poles and a collar shield to protect your mouth.

2. Nanotechnology fashion

In 2007, fashion designers and fiber scientists at Cornell University created a two-toned gold dress designed to prevent colds and flu as well as a metallic denim jacket that destroys harmful gases and protects the wearer from smog and air pollution. This was the first time nanotechnology entered the world of fashion, although one major drawback is the garment's price since one square yard of nano-treated cotton costs about $1,000.

3. MetroMitt

Despite its name, the MetroMitt can be used in many more places than just on public transportation. You can hold the stairs' rail or use it at the ATM. The patent-pending product is free and disposable. As a bonus, the mitt can carry advertising.

4. Cyclean

This handle, which recently won a design award, prevents the transfer of germs on buses and trains, thanks to its internal cleaning function. The handle strap can be cleaned by pulling down on one side of the loop to feed in into the chamber. The rollers clean and disinfect the strap as it is fed through.

5. Anti-bacterial gloves

Only $12.95, these gloves are made from Fibrant, a fabric infused with a natural agent that kills germs on contact. They are hypo-allergenic, washable and supposedly comfortable. They're perfect for the grocery store, restrooms, hospitals or while traveling.

6. Surgical mask

Surgical masks are the most common way to prevent catching germs in public places and are used by many Japanese — so much so that they now come with fun fashionable designs including Hello Kitty, fake mustaches, or geisha faces.

7. The Scough

If you want to avoid the silly looking surgical mask, you can opt for the Scough, a scarf with a hidden filter inside. Made in Brooklyn, Scough is "made by hypochondriacs for style conscious germaphobes," and comes in fake fur, flannel, and cashmere. Prices range from $29 to $89.

8. The Marf

The Marf is a direct competitor to the Scough and retails for $28.46. A blend between a scarf and a mask, it also filters the air you breath and eliminates any airborne contaminants. It is designed with bamboo charcoal and infused with elemental silver and active carbon, protecting you from bacteria.

9. Plunger

This may be the cheapest, most efficient way to stay germ free on a bus or subway, unless you've already used your plunger in your restrooms. You can purchase one for less than $5 or buy a more upscale plunger for close to $150.

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