Society News Archive

18 November 2016
Record-High Radon Found in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has detected a new record-high level of radon and is once again encouraging state residents to test their homes for this radioactive gas, a leading cause of lung cancer.

In October 2016 a home in southern Lehigh County showed a radon level of more than 228,500 Bq m-3, the highest recorded in the state. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set an action level for radon concentration in homes at 148 Bq m-3 (4 pCi/L in the traditional units used by EPA). Homes testing above this level should have a radon-reduction system installed.

Because of its geology, Pennsylvania is prone to high radon levels. Radon has been detected in all 67 counties, and about 40% of homes in the state have levels above EPA's action level. In 2014 a number of homes in the southern Lehigh County area were found to have radon levels over 37,000 Bq m-3. That area is near the Reading Prong, a geological section of granite rock that historically has generated high levels of radon.

For more information, including information on interpreting radon test results and finding a Pennsylvania-certified radon contractor, visit the DEP Radon Division website or call 800-23-RADON (800-237-2366).

(Adapted from a DEP news release)