Sure, those nifty plastic bottles are convenient, but when’s the last time you actually stopped to think about what’s in your bottled water? Not only is it usually as contaminated (or more) with harmful chemicals as tap water, and its damage to the environment is beyond repair, but now a recent study is giving us one more reason to avoid bottled water.

Researchers in Canada found that the bacteria levels in more than 70 percent of bottled water samples exceed the recommended safe levels for humans to drink, and in some samples they found over 100 times the recommended safe levels of bacteria…yikes!

Now, I know it’s impossible to remove 100% of the bacteria from water—it just can’t be done. Bacteria are everywhere, but at very low amounts they pose no threat to our health. It’s when the levels of bacteria are much higher that we need to worry, especially folks who are more vulnerable to bacterial infections, like infants, older adults, pregnant and nursing women, and people who are immunocompromised (that is, their immune systems are weakened because of illness or treatment).

The general consensus is that a good home filtration system is best, and if you need water on the go, do yourself a favor and invest in a stainless steel or BPA– and phthalate-free water bottle that you can fill up at home and carry with you. Yes, convenience is usually a good thing, but I think I speak for the majority when I say that our health and the health of our environment are much more important.