In order to identify polar and hydrophilic degrdn. products of nitroarom. compds. in water and soil samples, nitroarom. compds. were prepd. and characterized as ref. stds. E.g., 4-amino-2,6-dinitrobenzyl alc. was prepd. regioselectively in 60% yield as a 19:1 mixt. with 6-amino-2,4-dinitrotoluene by redn. of 2,4,6-trinitrobenzyl alc. with Ti3+ in the presence of EDTA. Many of the newly synthesized analytes were found in various water samples from a former ammunition plant.