Rare Earth Metals

by sophie, shelby, tiffany and molly

Important Lanthanides

Important Actinides

Environmental/Health Concerns

“Scientists warn of the dangers of the toxic and radioactive waste generated by the mines and processing plants.” - Mike Ives

-These elements can cause harmful reactions like high radioactivity and toxic waste that can harm cities and areas close to the place where they are mined.


- Many people worry that some of the rare earth metals found in parts of Asia are showing up in mineral deposits which, when exposed can be linked to an increased risk of developing lung, pancreatic, and other cancers. Yet, this has not been proven by the companies that are mining for this Rare, but dangers earth metals. Then again those who mine for these elements do fear for the amount of were that is deposited of while mining for the metals. This amount is rising as does the increase demand for the rare earth metals. They feel that there should be a safer alternative to harvesting the elements without harming the environment.

Describe the reason behind your group's position on the Peridodic Table:
“The Lanthanide and Actinide series make up the inner transition metals. They belong between groups 2 and 3 of the transition metals.”

- “The lanthanides and actinides form a group that appears almost disconnected from the rest of the periodic table. This is the f block of elements, known as the "inner transition series," so termed because if placed in its proper numerical position in the table it would be in the transition metals between groups 2 and 3.”

-Our groups is away from the others is for two reasons. 1. It is easier to read the periodic table when there is a lower column then more on the sides.2. They are separated because they are known as the inner transition metals. This is because it is placed in its proper numerical group on the table. This which makes it again easier to understand and read.

Information found: https://www.boundless.com/chemistry/transition-metals/properties-of-transition-metals/lanthanides-and-actinides/

Valence Electrons

The valence electrons in a rare earth metal exist in S and F orbitals.

Information Found


What type of classifictation is the group in?

They are rare earth metals, yet they are not rare in nature. It seems we have an abundance of these elements in the earths crust. Most of them are manmade elements.

What does your group react with?

Lanthanides are very reactive. They often react with water to liberate hydrogen(H2) , H+( dilute acid) to release H2. They also react in an exothermic reaction with H2. They are also known to burn easily in air.

Actinides are also very reactive. They react with boiling water or dilute acid to release Hydrogen gas. They also combine directly with most nonmetals.

Information found:



Bentor, Yinon. Chemical Element.com - Einsteinium. Jan. 16, 2014 <http://www.chemicalelements.com/elements/es.html>.


"Boom in Mining Rare Earths Poses Mounting Toxic Risks." By Mike Ives: Yale Environment 360. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2014.

"Way More than Your Textbook." Boundless. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2014.

"Rare Earth Metals." Rare Earth Metals. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2014.

"Actinides." About.com Chemistry. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2014.

"Lanthanides." About.com Chemistry. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2014.

"The Periodic Table." Periodic Table of Elements and Chemistry. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Jan. 2014.

Photos from:

"Rare Earth Elements." - Mining The Moon for. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2014.

"REE - Rare Earth Elements and Their Uses." REE. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2014.

Video From:

"Lanthanide and Actinide Series." YouTube. YouTube, 14 Feb. 2012. Web. 16 Jan. 2014.

My citations came from:

"The Free Automatic Bibliography and Citation Generator." EasyBib. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2014.