Nanoparticles have applications in a diverse range of products including medications, detergents, cosmetics, paint, sunscreen and electronics, with an economic worth projected to reach $2.5 trillion dollars in 2015. Research into the effects of manufactured nanomaterials on the environment, however, has failed to keep pace with the high volume of commercial production. Whereas a number of studies have examined the effects of nanoparticles on aquatic species, little work has focused on the way in which benthic marine species encounter, ingest and depurate these materials. The purpose of this study was to examine the ingestion and depuration of titania nanoparticles (anatase) by the blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) and the eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) during a spill scenario (an acute exposure to elevated concentrations). Bivalves were exposed to nanoparticles either incorporated into marine snow, an environmentally relevant medium for pollutants, or added directly to seawater at a concentration of 4.5 mg L−1 for 2 h. After feeding, the animals were transferred to filtered seawater and allowed to depurate. Faeces and tissues were collected at 0, 6, 24, 72 and 120 h, post-exposure, and analysed for concentrations of titanium by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Results indicated that the capture and ingestion of titania nanoparticles by both species was not dependent on the method of delivery (incorporated into marine snow or freely suspended). Additionally, greater than 90% of the titania nanoparticles, on average, were eliminated from the tissues after 6 h, and only trace amounts remained after 72 h. These data demonstrate that mussels and oysters readily ingest titania nanoparticles, but rapidly depurate the material within hours of an acute exposure suggesting that little would be transferred to secondary consumers including humans. Further research is required to determine if other species of suspension-feeders handle titania nanoparticles in a manner similar to bivalves.