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Fact Sheet

July 2009

EPA Removal Action to Begin, LaRay Dials, Valley Center, Kansas


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 will begin a Removal Action at the LaRay Dials site at 209 W. Main in Valley Center, Kansas, the week of July 27, 2009. The Removal Action should be completed by the end of the first week of August 2009.

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.


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 were repainted. This process resulted in releases of solvents, heavy metal, and radium into buildings, soil, and ground water.

The 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.


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.  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.  


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

Evaluation of the ground water contamination will continue after the soil excavation is completed.


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

Wichita Department of Environmental Services
1900 E. 9th
Wichita, Kansas

EPA Region 7
Records Center
901 N. 5th 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 himes.beckie@epa.gov

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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