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Mining & Materials

The topic area of mining and materials covers the extraction and use of substances for human purposes and the related impacts and consequences, such as pollution. It includes mining and resource extraction practices and impacts in all locations, including off-shore and into water bodies and the atmosphere. It includes materials in all forms from elemental (overlapping with chemistry) to manufactured products and side- or waste-materials. It includes industrial processes, material and waste management. It includes practices and policies related to mining and materials, including drivers like consumption patterns and resource economics. 

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Uranium Last Updated on 2013-12-15 23:42:25 Uranium is a radioactive element that occurs naturally in low concentrations (a few parts per million) in soil, rock, and surface and groundwater. It is the heaviest naturally occurring element, with an atomic number of 92. Uranium in its pure form is a silver-colored heavy metal that is nearly twice as dense as lead and is pyrophoric when finely divided. Uranium exhibits three crystallographic modifications as follows: alpha --(688°C)→ beta --(776°C)→ gamma. It is a little softer than steel, and is attacked by cold water in a finely divided state. It is malleable, ductile, and slightly paramagnetic. In air, the metal becomes coated with a layer of oxide. Acids dissolve the metal, but it is unaffected by alkalis. Previous Element: Protactinium Next Element:... More »
Antarctica Last Updated on 2013-10-03 22:02:28 The continent of Antarctica is located almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle, (66.5 degrees south Latitude). Only the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula and the fringes of Wilkes Land protrude north of that line. Roughly centered on the geographic South Pole (coordinates: 90° 00' S, 0° 00' E.), it's total area of Antarctica is 14 million sq km (it's ice-free land area is 280,000 sq km while about 13.72 million sq km is ice-covered). It is the fifth largest continent, following Asia, Africa, North America, and South America, containing 8.9% of the Earth's land area; and it is larger than Australia and the subcontinent of Europe. It is slightly less than 1.5 times the size of the United States.   The antarctic coastline measures about 17,968 km. All of Antarctica utilizes New Zealand Time. Speculation over the existence of an "unknown... More »
Industrial uses of lead Last Updated on 2013-09-17 22:29:34 The Toxics Use Reduction Institute is a Massachusetts government research entity that has used the unique usage data from the state pollution and prevention program to create selected chemical fact sheets. The following is from the Turi Lead Fact sheet. In 2004, Massachusetts manufacturers used more than 3.5 million pounds of lead and lead compounds. The total global industrial consumption of lead in 2003 was estimated to be 15.1 billion pounds, and the U.S. consumption of lead in 2003 was estimated to be 3.06 billion pounds. The greatest use of lead is in lead-acid batteries, however lead-acid batteries are not manufactured in Massachusetts. Lead has a low melting temperature (327° C) for a metal and is extremely malleable, which enables easy casting, shaping, and joining of lead products. Lead can be recycled as a secondary raw material from lead-acid batteries and... More »
Alternatives for significant uses of lead in Massachusetts Last Updated on 2013-09-12 11:46:30 In July 2005, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts requested that the Toxics Use Reduction Institute perform an alternatives assessment for five chemicals. For each chemical, the Institute was charged with identifying significant uses in manufacturing, consumer products, and other applications; reviewing health and environmental effects; and evaluating possible alternatives. The results of this study will serve as a guide for those seeking safer substitutes to the five chemicals discussed here. Presented here is an executive summary of the findings of for high priority uses of lead in Massachusetts. The full report, the Five Chemicals Alternatives Assessment Study available from the link below, presents extensive factual information on each alternative.   Lead is a naturally occurring metal with a high density and low melting point. It is ubiquitous in manufactured... More »
Alternatives for significant uses of formaldehyde in Massachusetts Last Updated on 2013-09-10 15:50:11 In July 2005, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts requested that the Toxics Use Reduction Institute perform an alternatives assessment for five chemicals. For each chemical, the Institute was charged with identifying significant uses in manufacturing, consumer products, and other applications; reviewing health and environmental effects; and evaluating possible alternatives. The results of this study will serve as a guide for those seeking safer substitutes to the five chemicals discussed here. Presented here is an executive summary of the findings of for high priority uses of formaldehyde in Massachusetts. The full report, the Five Chemicals Alternatives Assessment Study available from the link below, presents extensive factual information on each alternative Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring chemical found in small quantities in the human body. Products that are made from or... More »