Glaring economic inequality has become one of the most talked about issues in post-recession America. But a new study from the University of Minnesota shows the reasons why racial inequality shouldn’t be swept aside–especially when it’s related to an additional 7,000 deaths a year.

Published in the journal PLoS One, the study details the massive racial inequities that exist when it comes to exposure to pollution from car exhaust and power plants–call it “the pollution gap.” Nationally, people of color experience 38% higher levels of one pollutant, nitrogen dioxide, compared to white people.

It’s a disparity that holds strong, even when differences in income are taken into account. And on the state level, New York, Pennsylvania, and Illinois account for the biggest racial exposure gaps in the country.