Linking protection goals to trigger values using compound specific properties: Chronic risks to bees

In the EFSA guidance document for the assessment of risk of plant protection products for bees the screening and tier I trigger for chronic risk to bees is linked to a trigger value which is intended to meet a certain level of protection. However, the methods used to derive the trigger of 0.03 do not take into account several factors including the shape and nature of the dose-repose used to generate the endpoint. This means that the resultant proposed trigger leads to a large over estimation of risk with a large number of compounds failing the risk assessment and being incorrectly identified as a higher chronic risk to honey bees. We analyzed the methods used in the selection of the trigger of 0.03 and propose simple adaptations to evaluate all active substances to the same level of protection by taking into account the type of endpoint and the dose response relationship. We found that by using the correct dose-response relationships we could accurately ensure that the desired level of protection was met. We checked our proposal using real-life examples of seven substances registered for use within the European Union and discuss how these proposals could be used to inform risk assessors and risk managers as well as potentially reducing the number of false positive and negatives in a risk