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Fact Sheet

July 2009

EPA Removal Action to Begin, Standard Products, Inc., Wichita, Kansas


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 will begin a cleanup action on a portion of the Standard Products, Inc. site in Wichita, Kansas. The parcel to be cleaned up, 920 S. St. Francis, is adjacent to the site where radium-contaminated material was placed. The primary contaminant of concern is radium-226.

The removal action will begin the week of July 27, 2009. Radium-contaminated materials will be excavated from the property and replaced with clean material. Contaminated material will be shipped to an approved off-site facility. This cleanup action is expected to be completed by the end of the first week of August 2009.


Radioluminescent paint has 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.

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 radium-bearing paint was stripped from the dials with solvent, and the dials repainted. This process resulted in releases of solvents, heavy metal, and radium into buildings, soil, and ground water.

The Standard Products, Inc. site was located at 650 E. Gilbert St., Wichita, Sedgwick County, Kansas. The site was the location of an aircraft instrument repair shop in the 1950s and 1960s. Instruments included radium dials and faces.


During investigations conducted by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and EPA, radium-226 was detected at levels above the EPA and Nuclear Regulatory Commission screening level. Residents of 920 S. St. Francis are exposed to radium by eating garden produce and being close to radium-contaminated material brought from the 650 E. Gilbert property.


The cleanup removal action will quickly address the potential threat to human health and the environment that is posed by the radium-contaminated material at this portion of the site. The objectives of the removal include:

Contaminated material at the 650 E. Gilbert property will be addressed in a separate cleanup action.


EPA encourages the community to review the Administrative Record file, which will be available in early August at the following locations:

Wichita Department of Environmental Services
1900 East 9th
Wichita, Kansas

EPA Region 7
Records Center
901 N. Fifth Street
Kansas City, Kansas

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
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

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