Asbestos in GE Ovens

Hello all,
I am an investigator with a law firm in Illinois working on asbestos litigation. I have recently become aware of the presence of asbestos transite material in General Electric pizza ovens and am seeking more info - where were they made, what years, how popular, etc? Ultimately I hope to learn about exposures to asbestos that may have occurred during the manufacture as well as use of these ovens. If anyone can help me with some information it would be greatly appreciated.

Although I am not involved in the pizza trade, this is a very interesting site. I will never view my local pizza joints the same way again and will certainly have more respect for the work that they do.

Brian McCollum

Never knew that GE made pizza ovens. Were they sold under the GE name or under a different brand?

I’m not sure, I came across the following recently while reviewing some documents -
From letter of 02/15/1976;

“A Mr. Earl Sxxxx of G. E. asked Jim Rxxxx about the asbestos health hazard implication of using transite for the baking decks on pizza ovens. GE has been making these Transite ovens for many years.”

There are also refences to asbestos in oven decks in a couple posts on this board - … stos#12346 … estos#1579

While I am far from an expert on the topic, transite was a very common deck material in deck ovens for a good many years. As is common with asbestos, it was/is not a problem for the end users as they never put the asbestos into the air in particle form, such as from drilling or cutting the deck material, instead, they just baked on it without disturbing it. In fact, as the decks were used, they developed an accumulation of oil on the deck surface which further sealed it. Where the ovens were made, or the decks cut to size I am sure would be an entirely different story.
Possibly George Mills can add more to this.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

As usual Tom is absolutely correct the transite decks did not release any asbestos into the air when in use in a pizza oven. That material was banned as it came in large sheets and was sawed into sizes to fit certain ovens . The sawing is what put those in the area at risk.

I never had access to any GE ovens nor Toastmaster models that were very similar. There may have been insulation containing asbestos involved but I do not know.

George Mills