Microplastics are widespread in freshwater environments and could impact these ecosystems. Bivalves are freshwater organisms that are particularly exposed to microplastic contamination. Therefore, in this preliminary study, the accumulation of microplastics, plasticizers, and additives in the freshwater bivalves Anodonta cygnea was investigated through active biomonitoring. Specimens bought commercially were exposed in three rivers in Central Italy for different exposure times: short (1 month) and long (3 months). The gills and the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) were analyzed separately to evaluate the possible uptake and ingestion of particles via Micro-FTIR. For the first time, small microplastics (SMPs, 5–100 µm), plasticizers, additives, and other micro-litter components, e.g., natural and non-plastic synthetic fibers (APFs), were identified in the bivalve A. cygnea. The most abundant polymer in the gills (94.4%) and in the GITs (66.1%) was polyamide, which had the highest concentration in each river. A decrease in SMPs’ abundance was observed over time in the gills in each river, while the abundance in the GIT increased. Compared to polymers, a greater variety of APFs was observed in rivers. The APFs changed during the time of exposure and between different rivers more evidently than polymers, allowing for a clearer identification of the possible sources. These results highlighted the plastic pollution caused by SMPs using freshwater bivalves as sentinel organisms and the need to further investigate the additives that can be proxies of the presence of microplastics in the environment and biota
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