Home to the Soviet Union’s principal site for chemical manufacturing—including chemical weapons—Dzerzhinsk shows the scars. An estimated 300,000 tons of chemical waste were improperly disposed of in and around the city between 1930 and 1998. Water samples taken in the city in 2007 showed levels of dioxins and phenols that were thousands of times above recommended levels—something that led the Guinness Book of World Records to name Dzerzhinsk as the most polluted city on the globe that year. Concentrations of toxic phenol have led to elevated levels of diseases and cancers of the eyes, lungs and kidneys. A 2006 survey found that life expectancy in the city—which has a population of 245,000 people—was 47 for women and 42 for men.