Particulates and crystals stimulate the immune system to induce inflammatory responses. Several nanometer- to micrometer-sized particulates, such as particle matter 2.5 (PM2.5), diesel particles, and sand dust, induce pulmonary inflammation and allergic asthma. Conversely, nanometer- to micrometer-sized crystal, sphere, and hydrogel forms of aluminum salts (referred to as "alum") have been used as vaccine adjuvants to enhance antibody responses in animals and humans. Although most of these particulates induce type-2 immune responses in vivo, the molecular and immunological mechanisms of action as a vaccine adjuvant are poorly understood. In this review, recent advances in particulate adjuvant research from the standpoint of innate immune responses are discussed.