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Lanthanum is the 57th element in the periodic table. Its symbol is La. Lanthanum is a silver/white metallic element to it and is the first element of the lanthanide series. It can be found in rare earth minerals, usually combining with cerium and other rare earth elements. Lanthanum is a malleable, soft material which will oxidize rapidly once exposed to air. Lanthanum compounds are used in a variety of ways, most commonly being an additive in glass, an ignition element (flint) in lighters and torches, and carbon lighting for studio lighting and projection.

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