Rachel Albalak

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Around 50% of people, almost all in developing countries, rely on coal and biomass in the form of wood, dung and crop residues for domestic energy. These materials are typically burnt in simple stoves with very incomplete combustion. Consequently, women and young children are exposed to high levels of indoor air pollution every day. There is consistent(More)
Improved biomass cookstoves have the potential to reduce pollutant emissions and thereby reduce pollution exposure among populations in developing countries who cook daily with biomass fuels. However, evaluation of such interventions has been very limited. This article presents results from a study carried out in 30 households in rural Guatemala.(More)
BACKGROUND A new generation of diagnostic tests, the interferon-gamma release assays (IGRAs), have been developed for the detection of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI). Limited data are available on their use in HIV-infected persons. METHODS A cross-sectional study was carried out at 2 HIV clinics in Atlanta to assess the utility of two IGRA tests(More)
SETTING Persons in whom targeted testing for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) is recommended in Seattle, Washington; Atlanta, Georgia; and central North Carolina, United States. OBJECTIVE To compare the performance of an interferon-gamma release assay (QuantiFERON®-TB Gold In-Tube [QFT-GIT]) with the tuberculin skin test (TST) among foreign-born,(More)
BACKGROUND To our knowledge, this is the first assessment of trends in tuberculosis (TB)/human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) comorbidity in the United States based on national TB surveillance data. METHODS We analyzed all incident TB cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention national TB surveillance system from all 50 states and the(More)
The goal of this study was to assess the impact of improved stoves, house ventilation, and child location on levels of indoor air pollution and child exposure in a rural Guatemalan population reliant on wood fuel. The study was a random sample of 204 households with children less than 18 months in a rural village in the western highlands of Guatemala.(More)
BACKGROUND Chronic bronchitis is an important public health problem worldwide. A study was undertaken to examine the association between exposure to air pollution from domestic biomass fuel combustion and chronic bronchitis in two rural Bolivian highland villages: a village in which cooking is done exclusively indoors and a village in which cooking is done(More)
The phase-out of leaded gasoline began in Jakarta, Indonesia on July 1, 2001. We evaluated mean blood lead levels (BLLs) and the prevalence of elevated BLLs of Jakarta school children and assessed risk factors for lead exposure in these children before the beginning of the phase-out activities. The study involved a population-based, cross-sectional blood(More)
The authors evaluated mean blood lead levels (BLLs) and the prevalence of elevated BLLs in children 1-6 yr of age living in Torreón, Mexico, and assessed risk factors for lead exposure in these children. The study involved a simple random sample of households in the area around a local smelter, as well as a 2-stage cluster sample of neighborhoods and(More)
BACKGROUND Lead is a component of tobacco and tobacco smoke, and smokers have higher blood lead levels than do nonsmokers. METHODS We examined the relation between second-hand smoke exposure and blood lead levels in a nationally representative sample of 5592 U.S. children, age 4-16 years, who participated in the Third National Health and Nutrition(More)