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What are rare earth elements – and what do they have to do with the environment?

Author's Note: What are rare earth elements, and what do they have to do with the environment?

I'll admit it: I hate science. (Math too, if you must know.) So this topic initially didn't thrill me. Until I realized it meant I finally had something science-y to discuss with my older daughter, who just graduated with a B.S. in chemistry. My daughter was familiar with the rare earth elements, and helped me to fully understand what they're all about. That personal touch made the subject much more interesting to me, and I hope that interest is reflected in this article.

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