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Urban Sanitary Engineering

We take two approaches for this ultimate goal with special emphasis on health risks: laboratory experiments and environmental planning. The laboratory experiments include the evaluation of the safety of drinking water with a special focus on micropollutants (e.g., endocrine disrupting chemicals and carcinogenic compounds) and the development of advanced drinking water treatment systems. The studies on environmental planning include the integrated river basin management considering both qualitative and quantitative aspects of water supply, and the incorporation of the viewpoints of citizens in environmental planning using psychological analysis.

Academic Staff

Sadahiko ITOH

Sadahiko ITOHProfessor (Graduate School of Engineering)

Research Topics

Our life and health are threatened by various types of environmental problems. My ultimate goal is to provide engineering solutions to protect our life and health from these environmental risks. My specific research areas are: evaluation and control of the safety of drinking water, development of a water supply system as a subsystem in water circulation system in river basins, disclosure and accountability on environmental problems based on psychological analysis of water consumers.


Room 232, C-1 Katsura Campus
TEL: +81-75-383-3254
FAX: +81-75-383-3256
E-mail: itoh@urban.env.kyoto-u.ac.jp


Assistant Professor (Graduate School of Engineering)

Research Topics


Room 233, C-1 Katsura Campus
TEL: +81-75-383-7502
FAX: +81-75-383-3256

Research Topics

Detection and control of endocrine disrupting chemicals in drinking water

In addition to the evaluation of the estrogenic effects of individual chemicals, it is important to evaluate the bulk estrogenic effect of complex mixtures such as disinfection by-products in drinking water. The final goal of this study is to find a way to avoid or reduce the risks caused by endocrine disrupting chemicals in drinking water. More specifically, an experimental study is being conducted to identify the major contributors to the estrogenic effect of drinking water and to evaluate the capability of drinking water treatment systems (including ozone/activated carbon treatment) to remove these major contributors. A bioassay using human breast tumor cells (MVLN cells) is employed to detect the estrogenic effect.

Water quality management aided by bioassays

Currently 85 items are regulated by the dinking water quality standards in Japan, and the number of the items is likely to exceed 100 in the near future.

Under this circumstance, this study evaluates the capability of bioassays as a bulk water quality index to aid the evaluation of drinking water quality with a focus on the chronic toxicity associated with carcinogenicity. Among various bioassays, a chromosomal aberration test and a transformation test with mammalian cells are used.

Advanced treatment technologies for the minimization of micropollutants and disinfection by-products in drinking water

We have found that chlorination in drinking water treatment processes generates carcinogenic and estrogenic compounds.

In this study, the performances of advanced water treatment technologies (e.g., ozonation/activated carbon treatment and membrane technologies) are being evaluated with respect to the minimization of these toxic compounds.

Integrated river basin management based on the benefit of water usage

The importance of the integrated river basin management has been repeatedly pointed out. However, this is not a simple task because the way people and our society interact with water is multidimensional and extremely complicated. In this study, the benefit of water on water usage and that as an environmental component is being evaluated.

Then the relationship between these benefits and the geographic and socioeconomic characteristics of the basin are discussed with a special emphasis on the sense of values which people in the basin has on water. As the final outcome of this research, we are planning to propose an effective way of the river basin management which can create the familiarity to the basin among the people. The research mainly consists of the collection of existing geographic and socioeconomic data and the survey on the sense of values on water. The collected information is analyzed by geographical information systems (GIS).

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