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The importance of materials to the economy of the United States is described, including the levels of consumption and uses of materials. The paths (or flows) that materials take from extraction, through processing, to consumer products, and then final disposition are illustrated. Scarcity and environmental issues as they relate to the flow of materials are discussed. Examples for the three main themes of the report (material flows, scarcity, and the environment) are presented.
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USGS Numbered Series
Materials in the economy; material flows, scarcity, and the environment