Abstract Transport of radon through materials is a process strongly influenced by several parameters characterizing the materials themselves, such as porosity, permeability, grain size, content of radionuclides and diffusion coefficient of this gas through the interstitial pores and/or fractures of material. In order to enlighten more on the radon transport mechanisms, we are carrying out a systematic study on both in-soil radon measurements and laboratory analysis. Laboratory measurements are carried out on different types of samples from geologically different sites in the East Sicily (Italy), to measure the exhalation rate of radon at different controlled physical conditions, varying the parameters of porosity and grain size, content of radio, in order to characterize the dependence of the process of radon transport by these parameters. We report in particular preliminary results of our study on radionuclide content and on the radon exhalation rate from building materials used in Mt. Etna and in the Hyblean Plateau villages. This study is important from the radioprotection point of view and could represent a contribution to better define the transport process of radon through fractured media to clarify on correlation between radon concentration and geodynamical, volcanic and tectonic, events.