Latinos and other people of color are also exposed to 38% more polluted air than whites, according to a University of Minnesota study, the Minnesota Post reports.
The study, “National patterns in environmental injustice and inequality: Outdoor NO2 air pollution in the United States,” found that race matters more than income when it comes to exposure to outdoor nitrogen dioxide, which comes from vehicle exhaust and power plants.
How much does race matter?
Comparing even high-income Hispanics to low-income whites, nitrogen dioxide concentrations were still higher among high-income Hispanics, researchers found.
“We were quite surprised to find such a large disparity between whites and nonwhites related to air pollution,” said Julian Marshall, the study leader, to the Minnesota Post. “Especially the fact that this difference is throughout the U.S., even in cities and states in the Midwest.”
The new finding, according to a report by Think Progress, builds on previous evidence of racial gaps in air pollution, like a Yale study that found that the greater the concentration of Hispanics, Asians, African Americans or poor residents in an area, the more likely that potentially dangerous compounds such as vanadium, nitrates and zinc are in the mix of fine particles they breathe.