Despite dramatic improvements in air quality over the past 50 years, people of color at every income level in the United States are exposed to higher-than-average levels of air pollution. While this disparity has been widely studied, the links between today’s air pollution disparities and historic patterns of racially segregated planning are still being uncovered.

In this study—the first to do a national-level analysis of modern urban air pollution and historical redlining—the team examined more than 200 cities and found a strong correlation between present-day air pollution levels and historical patterns of redlining.

Search for a city’s interactive map here.

The researchers report their findings in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters.

“Racism from the 1930s, and racist actions by people who are no longer alive, are still influencing inequality in air pollution exposure today,” says coauthor Julian Marshall, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Washington. “The problems underlying environmental inequality by race are larger than any one city or political administration. We need solutions that match the scale of the problem.”

Read the full article about air pollution and redlining at Futurity.