skip to main content

→ Top Stories:
Safe Chemicals
Defending the Clean Air Act

Susan Egan Keane, Senior Environmental Analyst, Washington DC

Susan Egan Keane

My job at NRDC is to advocate for policies and programs, in both the public and private sectors, to reduce human exposures to toxic chemicals. Before I joined NRDC, I spent nearly 18 years at a consulting firm, working on environmental health issues for the US government as well as international agencies like the World Bank. It was a great job that allowed me to travel around the globe, dealing with people from wildly different cultures, addressing some of the most urgent and dire environmental health problems in the world. The downside: as a consultant I was enmeshed in every fact, figure and detail of policy analysis but never allowed to express an opinion publicly about those policies (that was, appropriately, the job of my clients). Finally the time came to leave the safe, analytical, observers’ perch and jump into the fray. Now it is my job to have an opinion; fortunately, I have opinions to spare.

Recent Posts

The US Joins the Mercury Convention

Posted November 7, 2013 by Susan Egan Keane

, ,

Comments (2)

On November 6, in a bold and surprising move, the United States became the first nation to officially join the Minamata Convention on Mercury.   By being the first country to take the final steps necessary to join the Convention, among...continued

Mercury-free gold mining takes hold in Northern Philippines

Posted July 19, 2013 by Susan Egan Keane

, , , ,

Comments (1)

Amid the spectacular beauty of the northern Philippines, I recently attended the 1st summit on Artisanal and Small Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) in Kalinga province.  On its face this meeting was a modest local gathering about small scale mining in the...continued

The Minamata Convention - what it means for Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining

Posted March 4, 2013 by Susan Egan Keane

, , ,

It has been over a decade since the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) first sounded the alarm about the transboundary nature of mercury pollution, and four years since the nations of the world started negotiating a treaty to tackle this...continued

A New Global Picture on Mercury in Fish

Posted December 4, 2012 by Susan Egan Keane

, , , ,

Most people have heard warnings to limit or avoid eating certain kinds of fish that may have relatively high levels of mercury.  Today the Biodiversity Research Institute released a new report, compiled from scientific studies around the globe, that paints a more comprehensive...continued

How Clean Are Your Clothes? Pollution from China's Textile Industry

Posted April 11, 2012 by Susan Egan Keane

, , , , , ,

Comments (2)

More than 6000 water pollution violations from apparel factories in China – that is just one revelation in a stunning new account of water pollution from the Chinese textile industry, courtesy of noted Chinese environmentalist Ma Jun and his Green Alliance of activist...continued

Travels with Mercury II: Using Mercury in Small Scale Gold Mining

Posted June 2, 2009 by Susan Egan Keane

, , , ,

 In my last post, I described my visit to small scale gold mining operations in Kalimantan, on the island of Borneo.  The devastation of the land was stunning, but the truth is, I didn't come to Indonesia see the effects...continued

Travels with Mercury: Small-Scale Gold Mining in Indonesia

Posted May 17, 2009 by Susan Egan Keane

, , ,

About a month ago I found myself clinging with both hands to the back of a motorcycle, travelling through what looked like a desert landscape. In fact, I was in Central Kalimantan, on the island of Borneo, where the landscape...continued


Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit

Feeds: Susan Egan Keane’s blog

Feeds: Stay Plugged In