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Fact Sheet

March 2009

EPA Removal Site Evaluation to Begin, B&D Instruments/LaRay Dials, Valley Center, Kansas


In late March 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 will begin a Removal Site Evaluation (RSE) at the B&D Instruments/LaRay Dials site at 209 W. Main in Valley Center, Kansas. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has completed a Preliminary Assessment, Site Inspection, and Expanded Site Inspection. A Unified Focused Assessment (UFA) was conducted at the site, and KDHE requested EPA to perform the RSE.


Radium in the soil is the primary contaminant of concern. EPA will survey and screen the property, screen the buildings on site, collect soil samples for lab analysis, and review the lab data to determine if any removal actions are warranted.

Soil sampling will be conducted at the site to determine if the site poses a threat to human health and the environment, and to propose recommendations for further action, if necessary. Sampling activities will last about a week.


The B&D Instruments/LaRay Dials site was located at the above address in Valley Center, Sedgwick County, Kansas. The site was the location of a former aircraft instrument repair shop in the 1960s and 1970s. Instruments repaired at this location included some radium-coated dials and faces.

Radium dial repair shops were set up in the Wichita area soon after World War II to upgrade and repair radium-bearing aircraft instruments. During this repair process, the dials containing radium-bearing paint were removed, the radium bearing paint was stripped from the dials with solvent, and the dials were repainted. Removal teardown and dial-stripping operations are potential sources for solvents, heavy metal, and radium contamination of buildings, soil, and ground water.

Radioluminescent paint and radium luminous compounds have been used extensively on watch and clock faces since the early 1900s. The wide use of radium in luminescent paints continued through World War II because the soft glow of radium-produced luminescence made aircraft dials, gauges, and other instruments visible to operators at night.

During KDHE's UFA, radium-226 was detected at levels above the EPA/Nuclear Regulatory Commission screening level. Elevated levels of lead were also identified in soils above the Risk-based Standards for Kansas (RSK) values. Trichloroethylene was also detected in the ground water downgradient of the site.  


If you have questions or need additional information, please contact:

Beckie Himes
Community Involvement Coordinator
Office of Public Affairs
U.S. EPA Region 7
901 N. 5th Street
Kansas City, KS 66101
Phone: 913-551-7253 or
Toll Free: 1-800-223-0425

Randy Schademann
On Scene Coordinator
Superfund Division
U.S. EPA Region 7
901 N. 5th Street
Kansas City, KS  66101
Phone:  913-551-7331
Toll Free:  1-800-223-0425

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