(Pocket-lint) - When travelling overseas it’s worth knowing that only 20% of the world’s fresh water is safe to drink and because of this it is important to take a means of purification. If Iodine turns your stomach and filter and pump systems pose a headache the new portable Ultra Violet Light treatment from SteriPEN could be the answer.

Ultra violet light purification is a new technology to the global traveller although it has been used for 90 years to purify water on a large scale in bottling plants, hospitals and municipalities. SteriPEN has honed the technology into a portable, easy-to-use, lightweight system – just 226 grams with its four AA batteries.

SteriPEN uses the germicidal frequency of ultra-violet light from a lamp to purify contaminated water by destroying the DNA of 99.9999% of viruses, bacteria and protozoa. Without DNA they cannot reproduce and make you sick. It’s fast, purifying 1 litre of water in 90 seconds and half a litre in 48 seconds; it’s safe, thanks to an onboard microprocessor and sensor controlled administration of the UV light needed for purification. It’s easy to use too with no set up, waiting or cleaning required; it’s cheap to run at only 2.5p per litre.

Whilst a clear stream may look innocent and hotel taps convenient they could both pose significant risks to the health of any traveller. Cryptosporidium or Giardia induced illness is extremely unpleasant and e-coli bacteria can ruin a trip. Viruses like hepatitis, polio and cholera are virulent in many countries’ water and can be present in deceptively pristine water.

Prices start from £90 for basic model; £100 for Classic; £120 for Adventurer, from all good outdoors retailers. For more information visit www.steripen.com, at the link below.

Writing by Chris Hall.