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Ultimate germaphobe gadget 2.0

It's bigger and better, we're told.

Hammacher Schlemmer

Some months ago--on Jan. 1, as a matter of fact--we reported what we then thought was the "ultimate germaphobe gadget," perhaps our way of ushering in a bacteria-free 2007. Barely halfway through the year, however, that item appears to have already been eclipsed.

Not only does the "Wide Coverage Germ-Eliminating Wand" claim to eradicate "99 percent of bacteria, viruses, mold, and dust mites," but it can do so in broader areas with a 6-inch ultraviolet lightbulb. All the germaphobic head of the household needs to do is hold the wand 3 inches over a suspect surface for 20 seconds, according to Hammacher Schlemmer, and it can be programmed in 5- or 60-minute intervals.

We haven't heard from him lately, but we're certain that the "OCD Action Figure" will be pleased.