When I was teaching anatomy and physiology, this word was the student’s first lesson, the very first day of class.

Why, because if my students could write, pronounce, and define this word they could handle all that was coming down the line with the skeletal, muscular, nervous, and circulatory systems.

Pneu mono ultra microscopic silico volcano coni osis

  • pneu ~ Gk. for lungs
  • mono ~ one
  • ultra ~ beyond
  • microscopic ~ invisible to the naked eye
  • silico ~ comes from the element silicon
  • volcano ~ if I have to explain this….
  • coni ~ Gk. (koni) for dust
  • osis ~ L. suffix for disease

Lung disease caused by minute volcanic dust particles.

I was reminded of this as I listened to a news story on National Public Radio. It was a story about people in China who are working in factories, being exposed to dust and inhaling it. They’re contracting pneumonoconiosis (black lung disease). Same disease above, minus the “volcanic” element of it. One young man, to prove that his working conditions were making him ill, had his chest cut open and had a piece of his lung removed. This was done in order to prove the origin of his not feeling well. He proved his point, and received his disability package, but only has six years to live. His hope is that he can live long enough for his child to remember him.

The story also went on to say that this younger generation of Chinese workers is not willing to take their bad working conditions any longer, as their elders have done in silence, just to have a job… That this younger generation is mobilizing and forming unions.

Sounds like their industrial revolution is right on a parallel with what the US’s was back in the 18th and 19th centuries for us.

How does this relate to wine?

I’ve written before that any wine being produced in China at this time is surely going to be lacking any and all environmental consciousness, and it will be a long time before I enjoy a wine that has grown and been produced in China… if ever in this life time.

The Dark Side of Outsourcing ~ China’s Wines Are in Question for Me

This story about pneumonoconiosis proves my point.

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