The toxic mineral asbestos was used in the making of Gold Bond asbestos paper, which is a base that was applied before laying down both ceiling and floor tiles. One of the purposes was to protect the baseboards of the flooring. The paper was secured in place with Gold Bond adhesive, which contained asbestos as well.
Since the asbestos paper was used for flooring, it needed to be strong and the strands of asbestos, while fine, were extremely durable. Without asbestos, the paper would not have been as tough. Many manufacturers used asbestos frequently in their products because it was inexpensive and ensured that they would last longer.
Exposure to asbestos is hazardous and can cause a number of serious illnesses including mesothelioma. The danger is highest when asbestos fibers get into the air where they can be inhaled or swallowed. Workers who installed Gold Bond asbestos paper or were involved in the manufacturing process were at a high risk of exposure. The airborne fibers could also have been carried from their job sites to their homes on clothing, shoes, and hair, exposing friends and family to the dangers.