18 April 2001
Dont rely on disinfectant pads

THE report of the enquiry into the 1967 foot-and-mouth outbreak stated very clearly that “Disinfectant pads on roads are not effective in preventing the spread of the disease.”

Due to centrifugal action, the running surfaces of a vehicles tyres, spinning at around 1000 revolutions per minute, are likely to be bacteriologically the cleanest part of a vehicles exterior after an average journey in wet weather.

The residues from the journey will, however, be layered, earlier deposits first, on the underside of the body and in the wheel arches.

To properly disinfect a vehicle, you would need to steam clean the underside and the wheel arches and then immerse all in a reasonably fresh disinfectant solution, after which there will be little further risk as it probably wont start again.

By all means keep using the disinfectant pads, but dont imagine for a moment that they will do much for you if your journey is more than a few yards.

So many of the current so-called foot-and-mouth control methods fly in the face of logic if you look at them more closley.
Robert Nelberg
nelberg@interactic.demon.co.uk