Welding rods were usually made of several alloys that had the properties of conducting electrical charge and also resisting to the damage the charge may have sustained on them. Up until the 1980’s, crocidolite (blue asbestos) was included heavily into the flux surrounding the actual rod.
Being continuously subjected to extreme heat, the asbestos containing welding rods posed a serious danger for the people using them. The asbestos fibers found in the flux turned friable over time, putting them in an unstable state. You could have been exposed if: