Another product with the Gold Bond name was corrugated asbestos sheets. Other companies also sold this product, including a brand name called Fibro in Australia. These products were solid asbestos-containing sheets that that were wrapped around industrial equipment such as duct work, furnaces, and boilers. The sheets had either folds or ridges in them to make fit easily around any shape. The asbestos was used because it is so resistant to fire and high temperatures. In fact, for years in the 20th century just about anything that produced heat was protected with insulations made with asbestos.
As long as these corrugated asbestos sheets are intact they are not harmful, but over the course of years they can deteriorate and crumble apart. This is when the tiny asbestos fibers get into the air and anyone in the area can inhale them. Once inside, the body is unable to expel them and after years tissue scarring certain diseases can develop like mesothelioma. This cancer of the lining of the chest or abdomen is extremely deadly, with a life expectancy of only eight to 14 months after diagnosis.
Those who worked in the industry that manufactured or installed these sheets were at an even higher risk of dangerous asbestos exposure. As the raw materials were pressed into sheets, asbestos fibers could escape, endangering nearby workers. Similarly, to be installed, the sheets needed to be cut or sanded, also creating toxic dust. Because of the long latency period of asbestos-related diseases, workers who handled asbestos sheeting may only now be discovering the ill health effects.