For years, doctors have been warning women about the excess weight of their handbags. Heavy handbags can cause shoulder and back pain and impact posture.
For example, the American Chiropractic Association recommended that women should avoid carrying purses that are more than 10 percent of their body weight. Use caution if you use a super-sized handbag, diaper bag or the gadget-heavy “man bag.” It is easy to overstuff these bags with unnecessary excess weight.
Linda Abrams of the Philadelphia-based Council for Relationships said, "The big purse full of stuff is not only a woman's home away from home, it's a reflection of the woman's role as caretaker. Women in general see themselves as natural caretakers and nurturers. They’re anticipating all the things that they might need or someone else might need. They want to be prepared, just in case."
Lead content in your handbag is another possible hidden danger. Recently, the Center for Environmental Health tested purses from 100 of the nation’s top retailers. Test results revealed disturbingly high levels of lead in the handbags. Women of childbearing age, pregnant women and children are at the greatest risk to lead exposure. Lead is toxic to many of your body’s organs and has been known to cause potential learning and behavior disabilities in children.
Also, purses can be hazardous in other ways. Purses can harbor a host of germs and bacteria. A recent study by Nelson Laboratories tested the cleanliness of women's purses. Study director and microbiologist Amy Karen found the results shocking. Four out of five handbags tested positive for salmonella. Also, handbags tested positive for E. coli which causes food poisoning, pseudomonas which can cause eye infections, and staphylococcus aurous which can cause serious skin infections.
Your handbag has the potential to make you very sick if you keep it on places where you eat. When visiting public restrooms and at home use hooks to hang your handbag. Also, avoid putting your handbag on your desk, a restaurant table and on your kitchen counter top.