Population-based, longitudinal studies spanning decades linking risk factors in childhood, adolescence and early adulthood to incident clinical interstitial lung disease (ILD) events in late adulthood have not been performed. In addition, no observational or randomized clinical trials have been conducted; therefore, there is presently no evidence to support the notion that reduction of risk factor levels in early life prevents ILD events in adult life. Primary prevention strategies are host-directed interventions designed to modify adverse risk factors (i.e., smoking) with the goal of preventing the development of ILD, whereas primordial prevention for ILD can be defined as the elimination of external risk factors (i.e., environmental pollutants). As no ILD primary prevention studies have been previously conducted, we propose that research studies that promote implementation of primary prevention strategies could, over time, make a subset of ILD preventable. Herein, we provide a number of initial steps required for the future implementation of prevention strategies; this statement discusses the rationale and available evidence that support potential opportunities for primordial and primary prevention, as well as fertile areas for future research of preventive intervention in ILD.