Materials consumption estimates, such as apparent consumption of raw materials, can be important indicators of sustainability. Apparent consumption of raw materials does not account for material contained in manufactured products that are imported or exported and may thus under- or over-estimate total consumption of materials in the domestic economy. This report demonstrates a methodology to measure the amount of materials contained in net imports (imports minus exports), using lead as an example. The analysis presents illustrations of differences between apparent and total consumption of lead and distributes these differences into individual lead-consuming sectors.
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USGS Numbered Series
Total materials consumption; an estimation methodology and example using lead; a materials flow analysis