Nancy Steorts, an aide to Reagan administration consumer affairs adviser Virginia Knauer, is the leading contender to head the Consumer Product Safety Commission, an agency the White House would like to abolish, sources said yesterday.

The proposed nomination has been circulated for consideration among key member of Congress, despite the fact that the future of the CPSC, an agency that has been a target of sharp criticism by the Office of Management and Budget, is uncertain.

In fact, OMB Director David Stockman told a congressional committee earlier this year that the agency essentially had completed the mission of monitoring the marketplace for unsafe products. Stockman has proposed abolishing the agency, a position that few members of Congress seem ready to embrace.

Steorts has a home economics degree from Syracuse University, where she was graduated in 1959. From 1973 to 1977 Steorts served as consumer affairs adviser to former agriculture secretary Earl Butz and for the past four years has been in consulting.

If Steorts ultimately is nominated, she apparently would complete former CPSC chairman Susan King's term, which ends in October 1984. The Reagan administration will not have another opportunity to fill a CPSC seat until October 1982, when the term of Democratic member David Pittle expires.

The agency is caught in the middle of a congressional fight over a new CPSC authorization bill.