Ladies' handbags and wallets contain disturbing levels of lead, the Centre for Environmental Health has found.
Lead could also be rubbed off from the material used manufacture purses.
"This is something every woman of childbearing age ought to be paying attention to," ABC quoted Dr. Alan Greene, a lead expert and pediatrician at Stanford University as saying.
Lead typically is found in polyvinyl chloride, or PVC. Some manufacturers find it useful in items like synthetic handbags because it makes material pliable.
It also can be found in pigments because it makes bright colors last longer.
The level of lead in some tests bags was 30 to 100 times higher than the federal limit for lead in all children's items.
The concern with many of the purses is that lead could be rubbed off of the bag and end up on people's hands, or on children's hands and then into their mouths.
"Little kids put things into their mouth much more than others do so that makes the years up to pregnancy, and during pregnancy and nursing, and early childhood, the key times of exposure," said Greene.
Studies have linked lead to child learning disabilities and some have even linked childhood lead exposure to Alzheimer's later in life.
"When it's something that Mom is carrying around with her all the time, it's rubbing against her clothes, it's rubbing against her kids, it's a place you don't" want to have lead," Greene added.
However, top retailers have inked a landmark agreement to test purses for lead levels.