Lung Association: High levels of radon found in about 15% of state’s homes


Samples show high levels of radon in a sizable number of Delaware homes.

Radon is a radioactive gas emitted from rocks and soil. The gas is odorless, tasteless and colorless. and can enter a home through cracks in floors, basement walls, foundations and other openings. 

The gas is the leading cause of lung cancer in people who have never smoked.

Click here for a map from a past radon survey that showed the highest concentrations in the Middletown-Odessa-Townsend area. Sampling in some areas was too small to be statistically significant.

In Delaware, 15% of radon test results equal or exceed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) action level, according to the Lung Association’s “State of Lung Cancer” report.


“Radon in homes is more common than you think. In fact, high levels of radioactive radon gas have been found in every state but most places in the country remain undertested, so this isn’t something that should be taken lightly. Exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States,” said Deb Brown, chief mission officer for the Lung Association. “Testing for radon is the only way to know if the air in your home is safe. The good news is that it is easy to test. Do-it-yourself test kits are simple to use and inexpensive.”

If high levels are detected, a radon professional can install a mitigation system, which according to the Lung Association, is easy and relatively affordable. 

A typical radon mitigation system consists of a vent pipe, fan and properly sealing cracks and other openings. This system collects radon gas from underneath the foundation and vents it to the outside. 

The State of Delaware’s Division of Public Health offers a radon test kit at no charge.