The majority of Black and Hispanic Americans are worried about pollution in their drinking water, according to a new poll from Gallup.
Released Wednesday, the survey found that 56 percent of Americans overall are worried “a great deal” about water quality. The number shot to 76 percent among Black Americans, and 70 percent among Hispanics. Among White Americans, it fell to 48 percent.
The poll found that views among racial groups “persist even within political parties." Black and Hispanic people are more likely to vote Democrat, and they expressed more concern than their White peers at 79 percent and 64 percent, respectively.
The poll also noted that "many low-income Black and Hispanic Americans live in areas with aging water infrastructure," and that stories like that in Flint, Michigan have occupied national news.
"Racial and ethnic differences in concern about drinking water likely stem from a mixture of direct experience and media coverage of disasters that have disproportionately affected minority communities," it reads.
Predominantly Black cities such as Newark, New Jersey and Jackson, Mississippi have also experienced failing water systems in the past few years. In rural communities, Latino Americans — many near industrial farms — are disproportionately exposed to polluted water.
While the Environmental Protection Agency recently created a racial equity division to tackle crises facing communities of color, the survey suggests that the agency "faces a formidable challenge in closing racial gaps in Americans’ apprehension that U.S. drinking water may not be safe."
Ultimately, the data highlights concerning levels of mistrust between communities of color and government agencies or officials.
"Black and Hispanic Americans’ greater likelihood to worry about tainted water suggests a lack of faith in regulators to keep the public safe in light of crises like those in Flint and other cities with large communities of color," it states.