(Loretta Tofani/Special to the Tribune)

Chen Honghuan (left), Liu Hongmei (center), and Xie Xinrong (right) made nickel-cadmium batteries by hand for U.S. export to at least 20 different companies in the U.S., including Rayovac and Eveready. Each is suffering from cadmium poisoning, with some renal damage and severe bone pain. Here, they are photographed during a visit to Hong Kong, where they asked factory owners GP International to reimburse them fairly for their expenses associated with the poisoning. GP had previously given the workers some compensation, but the women said it was not enough.