Skip to main content
A former ship hull located at the Horton Iron & Metal Co. site.

The Horton Iron & Metal Co. site, which is approximately 38 acres in size, is located in the northwestern region of Wilmington, NC. In 2012 there were approximately 145 people living within ½ mile of the Horton site.

Contamination has been identified on a portion of the Horton Iron & Metal Co. property as a result of past industrial activities that occurred on the site. The site was a phosphate fertilizer manufacturing facility and a lead-chambered sulfuric acid plant that operated from 1911-1949. During the 1960s and 1970s, the Horton property was also the site of ship-breaking and metal salvage of decommissioned WWII Liberty ships.

Horton Iron & Metal Co. is an active scrap metal company and is located on the banks of the Northeast Cape Fear River, a commercial and recreational fishery.

The fertilizer manufacturing at the Horton site led to contamination of the soil, ground water, and boat slip sediments with arsenic and lead. The ship-breaking operations at the site led to further contamination of soil and boat slip sediments with petroleum products, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), heavy metals, and asbestos.

For more information about the Horton Iron & Metal Co. site, visit the EPA’s Horton Iron & Metal Co. site narrative or view ATSDR’s Public Health Assessment.