Asbestos is a fire resistant material used as insulation and as a fire suppressant. Because of its ability to resist fire, it can be used to craft a variety of weapon and armor mods, including fire resistant armor. It is also a component for multiple items which can be crafted at the chemistry station.
Asbestos was used extensively in the real world 1950s in everything from cement to tile. After it was found that asbestos causes cancer, among other health problems, it was ordered to be removed from buildings and production ceased.