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To evaluate the prevalence of nuclear cataract in veal calves and to elucidate a possible impact by mobile phone base stations.
A follow-up of the geographical location of each dam and its calf from conception through the fetal period up to slaughter was performed. The first trimester of gestation (organogenesis) was particularly emphasized. 253 calves (83-370 days old) were included.
Of 253 calves, 32% (n=79) had various degrees of nuclear cataract, but only 3.6% calves (n=9) had severe nuclear cataract. The data showed a relation between the location of the veal calves with nuclear cataracts in the first trimester of gestation and the strength of antennas. There was an association between oxidative stress and the distance to the nearest mobile phone base station. Oxidative stress was increased in eyes with cataract. It has not been shown that the antennas actually affected stress.
A specific statistics showed an accuracy of 100% in negative cases with low exposure, and only 11.11% accuracy in positive cases with high exposure. This reflects, that there are a lot of other possibilities for nuclear cataract beside mobile phone base stations. Further studies on the influence of electromagnetic fields during embryogenesis are indicated.