ESR dating has been applied to dating marine mollusc shells for more than 15 years. Many studies have yielded promising results and contributed to resolving problems in marine and coastal research such as palaeo sea-level changes and coastal neotectonic movements. However, some severe problems remain with respect to the accuracy of the dating results. In particular, problems encountered in the reliable determination of the equivalent dose (DE) have reduced the merits of the ESR dating technique. Here, we present a new approach to obtain more reliable DE values. Inflexion points in the dose response curve are considered to prevent its correct fitting. The dating of articulated shells from Holocene and last interglacial sediments help to illustrate the potential of this new method of DE determination. The estimate of the environmental dose has been refined by reconstructing the uranium uptake history of the mollusc shells.