Catalogue of Environmental Research Expertise in Ireland

The Catalogue of Irish Expertise in Environmental Research provides an insight into Irish Companies and Research Organisations active in the field of Environmental Research. You can View and Search the profiles of Irish researchers and companies; Register your profile; Keep it up-to-date; but also post your Partner Search Request or Expression of interest in a specific Call.

This is an Individual Researcher Profile

Researcher Contact Details

Research Title: Dr.

Contact First Name: Furong

Contact Surname: Tian

Contact Address:

School of Food Science and Environmental Health, College of Sciences and Health, Dublin Institute of Technology. Environmental Sustainability & Health Institute (ESHI) Grangegorman, Dublin 7, Ireland

Telephone Contact Number: +353 (0)1 402 8055

Fax Contact Number: 0035314027901

Email Address:

Organisation Details

Organisation Type: Research Institute

Higher Education Organisation Name: Dublin Institute of Technology

Other Organisation Name(s) if appropriate:

Research Organisation or Company/Corporate Website:

Organisation or Individual Expertise:
The Environmental Sustanability and Health Institute (ESHI) is a dedicated national translational research platform, uniquely based on collaboration between Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), the Health Service Executive (HSE) and Dublin City Council (DCC), building national and regional capacity and capability. ESHI is an all-island initiative, involving strategic partnerships with the University of Ulster (UU), Dublin City University (DCU), the Institute of Public Health (IPH) and other stakeholders. It is uniquely positioned to facilitate an interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral approach, integrating academic research with the knowledge and expertise of relevant professionals to generate collective responses to public health issues. Building upon existing education and research expertise, in addition to collaborations and strategic partnerships with multi-sector stakeholders, researchers at ESHI develop evidence-based interventions addressing environmental health problems.

Organisation or Individual Expertise Keywords:
environmental, material sciences, filter, estrogen and heavy metals

National Research Funding

EPA Research Programme

This researcher or research organisation has expressed interest in the following areas:

 Sustainable Environment Research

Involvement in Relevant National Expert Groups

The establishment and overall development of ESHI is overseen by a Board of Governors comprising senior representatives from business (IBEC), health agencies (HSE, IPH), academia (DIT, UU) and government agencies (EPA, DCC). Furthermore, the ESHI Scientific Advisory Board will be composed of leading academics in science, engineering and policy, health service representatives and industry experts. They will contribute to the long term strategy and research program by identifying national/ international health threats and potential gaps in policy, regulations, and/or other interventions needed for a healthy population.

EU Research Partnerships

This researcher or research organisation has expressed interest in the following areas of EU Research Partnerships:

Relevant information in relation to Participation relevant experts groups

No information specified

Details of any previous or current EU-funded projects the individual or organisation were involved in.

No information specified


Interests indicated in the Water Joint Programming Initiative

 Developing safe water systems for the citizens

Details of any previous or current EU-funded projects the individual or organisation were involved in.

Experience of participation in expert groups in this area

Any relevant information in relation to Participation in WssTP or other relevant experts groups

We have developed a novel filter to remove heavy metals and oestrogen residues from water. It provides a filter comprising electrospun laccase poly(glycolic acid) (PGA) fibres formed in a one-step process and having a mesh size of less than 1000 nm (hereafter “nanofilter”). The fibres have an average diameter of 200-600nm which can interacted with heavy metals and oestrogen residues and remove them from water. The EU drinking water legislation (S.I. No. 278 of 2007), provides a guideline value for lead in drinking water of 25 µg/L. But from 25 December 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended a guideline value of 10 µg/L. The EPA has reported the presence of lead and other heavy metals in the Tynagh Mines Area, Co. Galway in 2003. Exposure to lead (Pb) has reduced in Ireland since the 1970s, due to the banning of lead in paint and petrol. Most lead in drinking water comes from old lead pipes, fittings, lead-based solder or lead-lined tanks within a building or from the service pipe connecting the property to the mains supply at the mains stop tap. In Ireland, homes built before or around the 1970s may contain lead in their plumbing systems if the lead fittings or pipes have not been replaced. Preliminary analysis of statistics indicates that around 10% of properties have lead connections due to costly replacement for households (based on. Pharmaceuticals and personal care products have benefited our society as a whole by enhancing both the quality and longevity of life. However, water contamination by such products may ultimately have some effect on humans, directly or through target organisms (such as bacteria or other parasites), or other routes such as livestock, fish and poultry dosing within agriculture and aquatic farming. For example, estrogen can lead to reproductive and developmental disorders, and even to the formation of female characteristics in males 5. There are potential long-term consequences for human beings including: declining sperm counts, infertility, various cancers, and osteoporosis.1 The EPA has funded a project, managed by the Cork Institute of Technology, which was the first field study on the effects of estrogenic compounds in Irish water and the bulk of the measurements were carried out in 2003.1, 2 The highest estrogenic load was found in effluent from Osberstown waste water treatment plants (WWTP), discharging to the River Liffey, where the measured Estrogenicity (E2eq) was 17.2 ng/L. This value is approximately six times greater than that measured at Leixlip WWTP (2.8ng/L), a plant with a comparable influent in terms of Population Equivalent (PE) and the ratio of municipal to industrial waste received1. Studies in the USA have detected very low levels of pharmaceuticals in finished drinking-water (World Health Organization 2011). The highest concentration reported was 40 ng/L for meprobamate. Studies have also found several pharmaceuticals in tap water at concentrations ranging from nanograms to micrograms per litre in several countries in Europe, including Germany, the Netherlands and Italy.3 To date, between 15 and 25 pharmaceuticals have been detected in treated drinking water worldwide, as reported in peer-reviewed scientific literature.4 More pharmaceutical compounds have been detected in untreated water sources, such as wastewater, surface waters and ground waters in the water cycle, largely attributable to pharmaceuticals of very high usage, including antihyperlipidaemic compounds and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). 1. Tarrant H, Maloney M, Lyons A, et al. Endocrine Disruptors in the Irish Aquatic Environment. Final report to the Environmental Protection Agency on the project: Estimation of Estrogenic Compounds in Irish surface and Waste Waters. . Environmental Protection Agency, Wexford. . 2005. 2. Toner P, Bowman J, Clabby K, et al. Water Quality in Ireland. Environmental Protection Agency, Wexford. 2003. 3. Huerta-Fontela M, Galceran M, Ventura F. Occurrence and removal of pharmaceuticals and hormones through drinking water treatment.. Water Research. 2011;45(1432–1442). 4. Jones O, Lester J, N. V. Pharamceuticals: a threat to drinking water? . Trends in Biology. 5. King N. The inefficiency of sewage processing for oestrogen removal. Young scientist Journal. 2012;5(12):66-73. 2005;23(4):163–167.

Involvement in EU-funded research projects

Marie Curie Fellowship PIEF-GA-2012-332462,NMP-2007 - ERANET Plus in nanosciences/ 115/219433 and DAAD fellowship (Germany academy exchange service).

Other areas of expertise:

Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 website

Challenge 5 (Climate Action, Resource Efficiency & Raw Materials)

This researcher or research organisation has outlined their interests in Challenge 5 as follows:

Transition towards a green economy through eco-innovation

 Strengthen eco-innovative technologies, processes, services and products including exploring ways to reduce the quantities of raw materials in production and consumption, and overcoming barriers in this context and boost their market uptake

Focus Areas

 Water innovation: boosting its value for Europe

Societal Challenges 5 Priority Areas

This researcher/organisation has interest(s) in Societal Challenges 5 Priority Areas as outlined as follows

None specified.

Expertise in Societal Challenges 5 Cross-cutting Areas

This researcher has indicated interest(s) and expertise in Societal Challenges 5 Cross-cutting areas as follows:

No cross-cutting areas specified

Details of Participation in European Innovation Partnerships and European Technology Platforms:

The details of any ETPs or EIP this researcher/organisation have participated in or are currently participating in is outlined as follows.

No participation information provided.

Relevant EU Research Experience

Information in relation to Participation in relevant experts groups

I studied my Bachelor of Medicine degree in Public Health and PhD in the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research, Stuttgart, in 2006. I got a significant background in the intermolecular interaction of nanoparticles and clusters with polymer fabrication at the National Institute for Materials Science in Tsukuba, Japan, and the Helmholtz Zentrum München (German Research Centre for Environmental and Health) and worked on a Marie Curie fellowship in heavy metal detection. Existing university collaborators in this field, for example Prof. Hugh J. Byrne and Dr .Gordon Chambers, FOCAS, Dublin Institute Technology, Ireland. ERC holders Dr. Daniel Razansky at Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen (German Research Centre for Environmental and Health) Senior research experts, such as • Dr. Tobias Stoeger, Dr. Wolfgang Kreyling, Dr. Winfried Moeller, Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen (German Research Centre for Environmental and Health) • Dr. Jusus de la Fuente, INA, Spain, Dr. Claudia Tortiglione, CNDR Italy, Dr Catherine Berry, University of Glasgow • Prof, J. P. Spatz Max-Planck institute, Stuttgart, Dr. Alois Bonifacio, University of Trieste, Prof. Claude Tannoudji (Nobel Prize Physics), Collège de France, Prof V.S. Staschuk, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Prof. M. Baranska, Kracow University of Technology Prof. Yuliya Semenova, DR. Pengfei Wang, Prof Gerald Farrell, Photonics Research Centre, Dublin Institute of Technology, Kevin Street, Dublin 8, Ireland Dr. João Conde, Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, Harvard-MIT Division for Health Sciences and Technology,Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA Dr. Noreen Layden, Environmental Sustainability & Health Institute (ESHI) Dr. Benjamin Schazmann, School of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dublin Institute of Technology, Kevin Street, Dublin 8, Ireland Dr. Kobayashi, Hisatoshi, Biomaterials Centre, National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), Japan. Prof. Joachim Spatz, Max Planck Institute

Involvement in EU-funded research projects: Please outline details of any previous or current EU-funded projects the individual or organisation was involved in.

I spent my DAAD fellowship by working with Dr. Wolfgang Kreyling, who is one of founders of nanomedicine in Helmholtz Zentrum Munich (German Research Centre for Environmental and Health). The lab of German Research Centre for Environmental and Health has long term tradition of using different gold nanoparticle for medical application. During my ERA project, I have opportunity collaborate with Dr. Pablo del Pino, Universitiy Marburg, Dr. Beziere, Prof. Vasilis Ntziachristos (TUM) and Jesus de la Fuente (INA) on nanomaterial formulation part. My experience with control diameter of polymer fibres and biocompatibility of nanomaterials is unique, even internationally. Several of those protocols are used for Marie Curie fellowship project in heavy metal detection and are of interest for other projects in the group of Prof. Hugh J Byrne and the nanoscience and optical groups as whole. In addition, I brought method synthesis nanofibers and nano particle formulation to DIT, providing that group a way of grounding biospectroscopy for diagnostics and biochemical analysis in lung cancer cell. I also collaborate with Photonics Research Centre and school of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences in order to share this powerful approach for water quality control. I established firm contacts with leading researchers in both Asian and mainland Europe, with whom I have applied founding together and wrote publication together. I maintain contacts with my formal colleagues, such as Dr. Wolfgang Kreyling, Dr. Winfried Moeller, Dr. Tobias Stoeger, Prof. Vasilis Ntziachristos, Dr. Giovani Estrada at Helmholtz Zentrum Munich (Germany), Dr. Jesus de la Fuente (INA, Spain), Prof. Hossein Hosseinkhin (Mingyao University, Taiwan), Prof. Daxing Cui (Shanghai Jiao Tong University , China), Dr. Kobayashi, Hisatoshi (NIMIS, Japan.) We have established contact between these leading researchers and in DIT, which greatly benefits the European Research Area.

LIFE and COST Actions

Go to the LIFE website
Go to the COST website

Interest in LIFE subprogrammes:

COST Actions/LIFE programmes the researcher is currently or has participated in:

Contact the EPA:

PO Box 3000
Johnstown Castle Estate
053-916 0600
Other EPA locations