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Airgas, Inc.
259 N. Radnor-Chester Road, Suite 100
Radnor, PA 19087-5283

Ashtead Technology Rentals
1450 Elmhurst Road
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

"Airgas Announces Agreement with Ashtead Technology Rentals"

RADNOR, PA – April 6, 2006 -- Airgas, Inc., (NYSE: ARG), the largest U.S. distributor of specialty gases and equipment, has announced that it will supply EPA Protocols and other emission monitoring gases to Ashtead Technology Rentals, the industry leader in instrument rental for environmental monitoring, non-destructive testing, and remote visual inspection.

The relationship will provide Ashtead the ability to provide gases to customers, in addition to its rental equipment, within one business day anywhere in the United States to meet urgent customer needs. Airgas will supply Ashtead’s newest location in Elk Grove Village, IL, close to the O’Hare Airport, with the gases that can be shipped on demand, the same as all their equipment.

Ashtead currently offers instrument rental solutions for a variety of environmental and nondestructive testing through nine strategic locations in North America. Its rental fleet includes a variety of analyzers, pumps and other instrumentation. With the supply of EPA Protocols and other emission monitoring gases from Airgas, the company will now offer rental of cylinders and specialty gas regulators as part of its offering.

“This agreement allows Ashtead to provide our customers with a quality product that has been tested to exacting standards,” said Dave Burnett, regional manager, Ashtead Technology Rentals. “Aligning ourselves with a company like Airgas underscores our commitment to customer service excellence.”

“We’re extremely pleased to enter this agreement with Ashtead,” said Bob Mueller, director of utility and CPI markets for Airgas. “Ashtead shares our commitment to providing customers in the energy industries with fast, cost-effective, and reliable solutions.”

Mueller added that the agreement offers Airgas customers the opportunity to rent equipment and EPA Protocols quickly from Ashtead in the event of an unforeseen equipment breakdown or shortterm requirement.

Airgas produces a full range of emission monitoring gases, including EPA Protocol gases, CEM daily Calibration gases, and other mixtures. Airgas produces EPA Protocols at six national laboratories following exacting guidelines established under the Clean Air Act Amendments. These national facilities are part of the largest specialty gas infrastructure in the nation, with nearly 60 specialty gas laboratories. More than half of these facilities are certified to the ISO 9000:2001 standards for quality programs. Three Airgas laboratories also are accredited to the ISO 17025 standard for analytical laboratory performance.

Visit Us !About Ashtead Technology Rentals

Ashtead Technology is a worldwide rental leader of environmental monitoring, non-destructive testing, and remote visual inspection equipment to a variety of industries, as well as, electronic survey and inspection equipment to the offshore oil and gas industries. Its parent company, Ashtead Group plc, listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:AHT), is a leading equipment rental group serving the U.S. and U.K. construction, industrial and homeowner markets. Ashtead Group plc is comprised of three companies: Ashtead Technology Rentals, A-Plant and Sunbelt Rentals with 417 locations and over 6,500 total employees throughout the Group. For more information on Ashtead Technology, visit

Visit Us ! About Airgas, Inc.

Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG), through its subsidiaries, is the largest U.S. distributor of industrial, medical, and specialty gases, and related hardgoods, such as welding equipment and supplies. Airgas is also the third-largest U.S. distributor of safety products, the largest U.S. producer of nitrous oxide and dry ice, the largest liquid carbon dioxide producer in the Southeast, and a leading distributor of process chemicals, refrigerants, and ammonia products. Its 10,000 employees work in about 900 locations including branches, retail stores, gas fill plants, specialty gas labs, production facilities and distribution centers. Airgas also distributes its products and services through eBusiness, catalog, and telesales channels. Its national scale and strong local presence offer a competitive edge to its diversified customer base. For more information, please visit

For Airgas:
Investor Contact:
Jay Worley (610) 902-6206

Media Contact:
James Ely (610) 902-6010
  For Ashtead Technology Rentals:
Media Contact:
Dave Burnett, (847) 718-1246

Marketing Contact:
Jodi Solomon, (281) 398-9533

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