|Stalls: Calves cannot avoid radiation from mobile|
phone antennas (Photo: Getty Images)
by Christian Birmele, editor K-Tip, 23 April 2014 (translated by Google and the Editor of this blog)
Dozens of calves have been suffering in recent years from cataracts. Many lived in the vicinity of mobile phone antennas. Studies of the University of Zurich. Blind animals no longer found the udder of their mother and died.
[The abstract of the 2009 study may be viewed here.]
In people, electrosmog from mobile phone radiation can cause discomfort. Patients have headaches, muscle cramps or nerve inflammation. Electrosmog expert Peter Schlegel says: "Every year, about a hundred people who are affected contact me."
Animals can also suffer from the constant irradiation. The first scientifically documented case in Switzerland was made public 15 years ago: In the barn of farmer Hans Sturzenegger from Reutlingen ZH, 50 calves over several years became blind. The cause of blindness: severe cataracts. Professor Michael Hässig of the veterinary department of the University of Zurich knows the consequences: "a blind calf cannot find the udder of its mother and go to it. » The diseases were first proven after a mobile phone antenna had been erected just 20 meters away from the stable. When the telecom company removed the mast, after years of fighting, there were no more diseases. Hässig’s studies followed the case for several years.
Telecoms companies such as Swisscom and Sunrise, deny that mobile phone radiation can cause health problems. The number of cases of severe cataracts has been stable for decades. There is no evidence of an association with mobile phone masts.
"Many farmers are confused"
After the case became public in Reutlingen, various farmers reported from all over Switzerland. "Every year, we regularly receive questions from confused farmers," say both Hässig and Schlegel. K-Tipp knows several farms where animals became sick after cell phone antennas had been set up.
As follow-up, veterinarian Hässig launched a nationwide study in order to determine the cause for the numbers of blind calves. 253 randomly selected calves from all over Switzerland were examined for cataracts. In 79 animals it was easier to diagnose cataracts. Nine animals had severe cataracts.
Waves changed the blood values
Then the researchers tested whether the calves had grown up near a cell phone antenna. The result: "If the stable of a pregnant cow was near a cell phone antenna, the risk significantly increased that the calf suffered from cataracts," said Michael Hässig.
Based on these results, Hässig conducted another scientific experiment: Ten cows were exposed for a prolonged duration to mobile hand emitters, at strengths such as are usual in the area of cell phone antennas. In this case, the blood values of the animals were compared before and after irradiation. The detailed results are still not out. K-Tipp, however, already knows: The irradiation has changed the examined blood values. Whether this change makes cows, calves, sheep and horses sick, will be made clear in a few months, according to Hässig.
There is a specific reason that electrosmog can be a problem on farms: in the countryside, mobile phone coverage is generally insufficient. That is why the telecoms companies often install their antennas on barn roofs - directly over the heads of animals.
The problem is exacerbated by the fact that many animals have to stay all day in the barn, especially calves that are kept in stalls. Unlike animals in the pasture, they cannot move freely and so do not avoid the waves. Therefore, their exposure to electromagnetic pollution is much higher.
The University of Zurich along with various federal agencies has a website on electrosmog and livestock. Holders of large farm animals can report on www.nunis.uzh.ch.
Original article in German: