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Fact Sheet

May 2011

EPA Removal Action to Begin, Former Air Capitol Dial Site, Wichita, Sedgwick County, Kansas


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 will begin a cleanup action at the former Air Capitol Dial site in Wichita, Kansas.  The parcel to be cleaned is located at 1115 W. 2nd St.  The primary contaminant of concern is radium-226. 

The Removal Action (RA) will begin this Spring.  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.  The RA is expected to be completed by July 2011. 


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 the 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 former Air Capitol Dial site was located at 1115 W 2nd St., Wichita, Sedgwick County, Kansas.  The site was the location of an aircraft instrument repair shop from 1964-1974. 


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 near the area of concern are being exposed to radium by eating garden produce and being close to radium-contaminated soils.


The cleanup RA 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:


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


Todd Campbell
On Scene Coordinator
Superfund Division
U.S. EPA Region 7
901 N. 5th Street
Kansas City, KS  66101
Phone:  913-551-7115

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