Based on double-dosemeter readings, a conservative effective dose (E) estimation algorithm for lead apron workers in interventional radiology is proposed. Typical radiation conditions for various exposure geometries were simulated using the MCNPX 2.4.0 code. The simulation model consisted of an X-ray source and image intensifier, a patient phantom and a voxelised staff member phantom with lead apron. The effective staff dose and dosemeter readings for several positions of the worker were calculated. The effective dose to a physician, positioned in close proximity to the primary beam, can be estimated within a 10% underestimation margin by E = 1.64 H(p)(10)thorax,under + 0.075 H(p)(10)neck,over. The dose to the eye lens can be estimated by a dosemeter reading at collar level (R2 = 0.98).