Idiopathic interstitial pneumonia (IIP) is a progressive fibrosing interstitial pneumonia of unknown etiology with a poor prognosis. The aim of this study is to prove the occurrence of particle deposition and particle-induced tissue damage in IIP by examining proapoptotic Fas expression with in-air microparticle induced X-ray emission (in-air micro-PIXE) analysis. A total of 21 patients were enrolled. Lung tissues from 12 IIP patients and nontumorous lung tissues from 9 lung cancer patients (as a control) were subjected to in-air micro-PIXE analysis. The distribution of particles in lung tissue was compared with the localization of Fas expression by immunohistochemistry. Silicon (Si) was identified in 58.3% of IIP samples and 44.4% of control samples. Iron (Fe) was identified 25% in IIP samples and 11.1% in control samples. The mean lung tissue content of Si and Fe relative to S did not differ between IIP and control patients. Only two IIP patients showed the co-localization of Si and Fe deposition with Fas expression. Adaptation of this method would contribute to assess the influence of particles on IIP.